09/18/08 — Work begins on Mount Olive's downtown sidewalks

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Work begins on Mount Olive's downtown sidewalks

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 18, 2008 1:38 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Work is finally under way in the much-delayed improvement project on the west side of the 200 block of North Center Street.

Streets of Mt Olive

News-Argus/Bobby Williams

Workers from Hine Sitework of Goldsboro work on the sidewalk on the west side of the 200 block of North Center Street earlier this week. The project is being paid for by grant funds.

Hine Sitework of Goldsboro started the project Monday and by afternoon had broken up the sidewalk along the entire block.

The town is using a $200,000 grant to pay for the project. Actual construction is expected to cost about $150,000.

The company has 120 days to complete the work, but Town Manager Charles Brown said he does not think it will take that long.

"They moved pretty today," he said.

Once completed that section of downtown will have new concrete sidewalks as well as benches, planters, landscaping and new streetlights. It will have an irrigation system and power lines will be underground. New water lines will be run to businesses along the block.

"It will be a tremendous improvement on that block," Brown said.

Brown noted that the town has had the grant for "some time."

The first snag the project ran into was the town when the town had to acquire an easement from CSX Corp. railroad.

It was further delayed when the town had to ensure it met specifications of the state historical society and N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

"We had planned to have brick pavers, but had to take them out when they (state) told us they were not historically accurate," Brown said. "We had to go back and redesign for that."

He added, "We also had the engineer plan for new curbing and guttering and to run water to that side of the street. But they (state) told us that was not acceptable because they wanted to use the old granite curb. So, we had to reengineer so the water ran in the other direction. We have got all of those obstacles out of way. It is exciting. It will look good."

Brown said the new offset parking will free up more room for emergency vehicles.