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Archway Delay: Possible safety concern halts installation of $750k arches

Archway Delay: Possible safety concern halts installation of $750k arches

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Arches Installation Halt

Workers are holding off on installing the second set of City Walk arches after they heard a popping noise in one of the supports.

The installation of the second set of arches over N.C. 127 has been pushed back so workers can look into a potential safety issue.

The second set of arches, which are part of the City Walk pedestrian bridge overlooking N.C. 127, were scheduled to be placed last weekend.

However, as workers were preparing to lift them Saturday, they heard a popping noise in a support, Mayor Hank Guess said.

While the workers did not see any specific problems, Guess said they decided to consult with the manufacturer of the arches since they had not heard that sound when installing the first arches.

“I don’t know what the outcome is at this time but they just didn’t feel comfortable lifting 40 tons in the air when they weren’t exactly sure about the safety,” Guess said.

He added there is a chance there is nothing wrong with the arches but the workers wanted to be cautious.

“I’m not that concerned about it,” Guess said. “I mean, obviously they are going to do whatever it takes to get the problem corrected if there is a problem.”

The arches are of made of Douglas fir glulam beams and were constructed in Oregon.

The cost of both arches is $752,743.66, according to the city. “The Bond Implementation Commission approved this iconic structure as part of the $14,275,479 contract for the City Walk project,” Communications Specialist Sarah Killian said in an email Wednesday morning.

The arches and the pedestrian bridge are a major feature of the City Walk, the walking and biking sidewalk system being built between Lenoir-Rhyne University and downtown.

City Walk is funded through the $40 million bond approved by voters in 2014.

Kevin Griffin is the City of Hickory reporter at the Hickory Daily Record.


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