Gatewood entrance safe for emergency vehicles

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Rolling Proof Test shows

By David Meade

In an effort to show that the entranceway into the Gatewood subdivision is safe for vehicle traffic, an engineer working for the Anderson County Transportation Committee (ACTC) and the Williamston Fire Department performed a load test on the roadway and underlying culvert Monday morning.

Terry Bragg, an engineer with CoTransco, the consulting and program management firm recently hired by the ACTC inspected the roadway as a fully loaded Williamston Fire Engine was driven across the culvert overpass several times.

Bragg said there was no indication of stress weakness shown during the test.

Williamston Fire Chief Steve Ellison said the fire truck weighs approximately 32,000 pounds and has an additional 8000 pounds of water.

Bragg said “Proof-rolling can identify the presence of voids or weak areas under the pavement structure which will allow us to better evaluate the condition and safety of the road.”

Bragg said the roadway is safe for emergency vehicles and other traffic.

A leachate tanker truck has not been allowed into the subdivision since Gatewood residents appeared at a town council meeting. The truck is currently dumping at an alternative location on First Street.

Bragg said they are also conducting weekly inspections of the Gatewood entrance location for any evidence that would indicate a change in conditions.

Emailed information recently sent to Williamston Mayor Mack Durham by Bragg addressed several concerns with the project.

Bragg stated that “the Woodmere Court/Big Creek project has been our number one priority.”

Bragg said they will continue weekly monitoring of the culvert crossing. “The crusher-run stone used to repair the December 2014 rain damage appears to be functioning well and is protecting the remaining roadway. Several small cracks were visible in the stone, probably from consolidation settlement or from the placement of the stone over cracks in the old roadway,” he said.

Bragg said the creek crossing lies in a FEMA Flood Zone area, which complicates the project development process. “We are currently awaiting design files from FEMA so that we can finalize our Preliminary design,” he said.

“Catastrophic changes due to flooding cannot be accounted for in any evaluation. What is adequate today could be completely removed tomorrow in a persisting flooding condition. Residents should always use caution when traveling on Woodmere Court after a severe rainfall event.”

Bragg said they are addressing another safety issue that concerns the Gatewood Community residences, the availability of emergency services during the actual construction process.

According to Bragg, they are currently evaluating a temporary access road from Williams Street to Ridge Street. The roadway would be approximately two thousand feet long, twenty-feet wide, with a gravel base of approximately four-inches.”

Construction of the “temporary access” road would cross property owned by the Town of Williamston, Milliken & Company and a lot owned by Hillside Properties. According to Bragg, temporary construction easements will be required from the property owners in order for the alternative access road to be a viable option. “We are currently calculating the construction requirements for the temporary access,” he said.

Anderson School District One Superintendent David Havird said Tuesday he will re-evaluate allowing buses to enter the subdivision after the proof-test results are evaluated.

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Engineer Terry Bragg, Williamston Councilmen David Harvell and Rockey Burgess and Public Works director David Rogers look over the creek on the upstream side of the Gatewood entrance.

(Feature photo above) – A fire truck crosses the entranceway at Gatewood during a load test performed Monday. Crusher-run stone was used to temporarily repair earlier damage from high water where the creek passes through two culverts that are the base of the entrance overpass.

Proof-rolling test