Pond drained for inspections

Town of Wilkesboro had the upper of two ponds owned by the Woodfield Home Owners Association drained so the dam could be inspected. Woodfield Way goes across the dam.

Woodfield Way will be closed for about a year due to a washout at the point where it connects the Woodfield and Oakwoods Country Club subdivisions, said Wilkesboro Town Manager Ken Noland.

Noland said in an interview Monday that repairing the washout, which occurred after heavy rain on Oct. 29, will cost the town an estimated $1.1 million.

This is an N.C. Department of Transportation estimate and town officials plan to get a private engineer’s estimate, he added.

Town officials so far haven’t identified a source for the money needed, but Noland said one possibility is state disaster aid assistance.

Another possibility is approaching the Wilkes County commissioners since Woodfield Way is an important connector for residents of the Oakwoods Country Club subdivision, which isn’t in the town limits.

The washout occurred directly on the town limits, where Cub Creek flows beneath Woodfield Way.

The cost of repairing the washout will dwarf Wilkesboro’s annual $109,000 appropriation from the legislature for street maintenance.

Noland said culverts used to carry Cub Creek beneath the road and the raised road bed across the creek collapsed from the pressure of Cub Creek’s huge increase in water volume on Oct. 29.

This left a chasm about 25 feet wide and at least as deep. The culverts were installed in the 1980s, he said.

After it occurred, Wilkesboro Fire Chief Jason Smithey said emergency officials were afraid that a dam for a pond a few feet upstream from the road would break and cause more problems downstream.

Noland said he didn’t think the dam was related to the washout.

Noland said three concrete box culverts will be installed to handle higher volumes of water instead of metal culverts when it is repaired.

More immediately, the town is having the dam for the upper of two ponds about a mile away inspected. It was drained for this work.

Noland said the concern is that if this dam failed, people living between it and the current washout would have no ingress or egress since Woodfield Way passes over the dam.

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