Site prep work on schedule

Published 11:03 am Monday, August 22, 2011

GATESVILLE – The sound of progress can be heard at Merchants Commerce Center.

At a meeting of the Gates County Board of Commissioners earlier this month, Kim Old, developer of MCC, provided a developmental time frame for Phase 1 of the commercial/residential project located along a stretch of US 158 in front of Gates County High School.

Old charted the progress in a printed handout to the board, one showing the design, permitting and bidding processes are now complete. The handout also revealed that the land clearing process of the construction phase of the project is finished. Work is underway on digging ditches and a stormwater retention pond as well as other construction projects, to include relocating a power line, installing water lines and building roads. Those projects are expected to be completed over a span of 30 to 120 days.

“We’ve had some good weather thus far and we’re on schedule,” Old noted.

Noting the four-month timeline presented by Old, Commissioner Henry Jordan asked the developer if he envisioned any problems if a building construction project soon got underway.

“The biggest problem we have right now is a power line going down Soney Lane that is in our right-of-way and needs to be relocated,” Old answered. “We met with Dominion Power three weeks ago; they have our plans and I guess they are in the design process of moving that line. We can’t do any improvements on that road until the power line is moved. Other than that, everything else is running smoothly.”

Old added that the project would allow easements for Dominion Power throughout the development area.

Jordan also inquired of multiple building projects occurring simultaneously.

“(After getting the green light from planning) Once we approve these projects and they decide to proceed immediately, if you still have some ongoing issues will that cause some bottlenecks, some hold ups,” Jordan asked. “It may be in the county’s best interest to wait and see when your issues are free and clear before we allow anyone to begin construction.”

“It would probably be a good idea for everyone to come together and have a pre-construction meeting,” Old suggested. “There’s going to be a lot going on….construction, Cavanaugh working on the wastewater system and we need some coordination from all of us to make this as easy as possible. There will be a lot of vehicles, heavy trucks coming in and out.”

“I think it’s a good idea to have an overview of all pending projects, have a list of them and their individual timelines so that we’ll know what each one is doing to help prevent any bottlenecks,” Jordan said.

“You’ll know about each of those projects because each one will have to have a site plan that you must approve,” Old stated.

One new project that could start soon is the State Employees Credit Union office. Jonathan Jones, who manages the Gatesville office that will move to the Commerce Center, said the construction contract has been awarded, but was unsure of the exact date the work would begin.

As far as Cavanaugh’s part of the project was concerned, company officials presented a color-coded spreadsheet to the Commissioners in regards to the scope of work involving the construction of the wastewater treatment plant (actually an expansion of the existing facility at the old Gates County Correctional Institute now deeded to the county) and the sewer collection system.

The design of both those systems are expected to be completed by no later than next month. Gaining the necessary state permits should be finished by November of this year for the collection system and March of next year for the treatment plant.

The bidding and construction process for the collection system is expected to begin as early as the late fall or early winter of 2011. The timetable provided by Cavanaugh showed September of 2012 as the latest end date for construction.

Gaining permits for the wastewater treatment plant could take as long as March of next year to complete. Construction on the facility could begin as early as April, 2012. Depending on the start date, the construction process could take as long as May, 2013 to complete.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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