The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District closed the recreational area at Lock and Dam No. 2 on the Cape Fear River located in Elizabethtown. The primary reason for the closure was for construction of repairs downstream of the dam. Turbulence resulting from water flowing over the dam scoured out a deep hole in the river bottom downstream from the dam, according to officials.
In March of this year the construction was estimated to be completed by September 2019. However high river levels and frequent flooding from September 2018 to date have impacted the expected schedule of completion. Town of Elizabethtown Manager, Eddie Madden announced the repairs should be completed by October 2019 during two recent presentations he gave about the Lock and Dam No. 2.
The recreation area and boat ramp will remain closed to the public until completion of construction to the scoured hole. The closure affects access to the entire recreation area including the picnic shelter, fishing pier/boat ramp, and both parking areas.
Madden explained the property is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but is leased by the Town of Elizabethtown for a 25 year period. Therefore the Town applied for funding with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for more improvements and constructions after it is re-opened because of damages received by Hurricane Florence and outdated materials.
“We have made some progress, but not a lot. We hope that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will give us funding for a mitigation project . We estimated the damage to the Lock and Dam exceeds $450,000,” Madden said.
There were several improvements and repairs Madden listed the Town requested to be made to to the recreational area at the site. The extensive chain link fence around the perimeter of the property is no longer needed because it is a public park, it needs to be removed. Restroom facilities are needed. The old Lock master’s house is destroyed beyond repair and needs to be torn down. Other projects needed are improvements to the camp grounds, walking paths and the picnic shelters.
“We have asked for all of those funds to be put into a pot of money which they refer to as a mitigation project which will allow us to reinvest that money into the park property. We are waiting for FEMA for improvements for that,” Madden said in closing.
Again, the Lock and Dam No. 2 construction due to the scoured hole is scheduled to be completed in or around October.