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As part of CFC's advocacy role, the club coordinates and works with NCDOT to provide feedback from cyclist's perspective.  Below are the notes from a recent meeting.

Meeting with DOT regarding Cyclists and
Trask Bridge

 

NCDOT Division 3,  Deputy Division Engineer, Chad Kimes, held a meeting on Monday, December 18, 2017 with his staff to develop "fix" for the hazardous situation for cyclists crossing  ICWW to and From Wrightsville Beach on the  Heide Trask Bridge. In addition to the DoT staff, Chad invited Jim Mincher, Carol Stein and Al Schroetel to attend to update us on this problem and seek our input on possible solutions. Mike Kozlosky, City of Wilmington Transportation Planning Manager and Abby Lorenzo, Wilmington Metro Planning Organization (WMPO) staff also attended at Chad's invitation.

 

Background: Chad and his staff summarized the history of NCDOTs efforts to fix this problem, as follows:

 

  • When the steel grid lift sections of the bridge were replaced approximately three years ago it was discovered that the new grid patterns made it hazardous for cyclists, especially when wet.
  • Once the problem was identified NCDOT Division 3 obtained special funding to place a path of "bike safe" plates on the metal grids on the bridge.
  • Division 3 requested bids from commercial contractors to install the plates two times, did not receive any bids on the project.
  1. Two major engineering problems make the project more complex than anticipated:The supporting structure of the moveable part of the bridge make it very difficult to attach the safety plates
  2. The added weight of the safety plates have to be offset with counter-weights added to the base of the bridge lift mechanism to permit bridge opening operations. The location to install the counter-weights is extremely small.

Current Status: The Division 3 staff has researched numerous alternative approaches;

  • Use of lighter plates. Found that they were not suitable for installation and still required counter-weights
  • Pour light weight concrete over a portion of the metal grids. Still added weight and might not hold up in a marine environment (moisture and salt corrosion)
  • Replace the bridge railings with aluminum rails to offset the increased weight of the plates. This would require a major restructuring of the bridge.
  • Spray a light weight anti-skid coating to create a path across the grids. Concern is the durability of the anti-skid material
  • Grind and smooth the "dimples" on the grid. This would remove the existing anti-corrosion coating and would probably result in rapid deterioration of the bridge lift grids.


Planned Action

It was decided that the application of the anti-skid coating was the most promising approach. The anti-skid coating, in a distinguishing color,  would be applied to the outside 30 inches of each side by the sidewalk. This would be done when the temp is above 50 degrees and requires a 48 hour lane closure to harden properly. Therefore, it would most likely be done in March 2018. The cost is about $25,000.

The Division 3 staff is going to research this approach and will hold a review of their findings in February 2018. Representatives from CFC and the WMPO will participate in that status review.



Bike Walk NC Newsletter
October November 2017

Bike Advocacy Groups & Organizations

League of American Bicyclists (LAB)
National focus. The oldest and one of the largest cycling advocacy organizations in the USA. Their vision is “A nation where everyone recognizes and enjoys the many benefits and opportunities of bicycling”. LAB provides training and certification for League Certified Instructors (LCI’s). Provide insurance for cycling clubs nationwide.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
National focus. Build, maintain, defend and connect trails and trail corridors across the country.

East Coast Greenway
Eastern US focus. Building and designating an urban trail from Maine to Florida, connecting existing and planned shared-use trails, a continuous, traffic-free route. Bethel Paris is on their Trails Committee and will steer the CFC funding to East Coast Greenway signs for our area.

North Carolina Rail-to-Trails (NCRT)
Preserve rail corridors and works with communities across North Carolina to create trails for public use on abandoned rail corridors.

Adventure Cycling
National focus. Research safe long range routes, produce maps, guided tours. Encourage Bicycle tourism. Magazine published 9 times yearly.

Bike Walk NC(BWNC)
BWNC is the only NC-wide lobby and advocacy group. Helped steer the 2015 “Bike Safety Laws Study” and its report. This study resulted in several cycling safety law improvements. Conduct NC’s only Bike Summit each fall. Al Schroetel is on their Board of Directors.

People for Bikes
PeopleForBikes  (formerly Bikes Belong) includes both an industry coalition of bicycling suppliers and retailers, as well as a charitable foundation.  Grants, advocacy, information. Over 1.2 million members  In last 15 years Spent over $30 million to make bicycling better. Invested $2.1 million in community bicycling projects.

Terry Benjey Bicycling Foundation
Welcome to the Terry Benjey Bicycling Foundation (TBBF). The TBBF is organized exclusively for bicycling charitable, educational, advocacy, and scientific purposes. The foundation endeavors to promote the use of bicycles in the Cape Fear Region of NC for transportation, recreation, and fitness.


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