Kinston Free Press Mar. 10, 2009

State, city officials kick off $2.7 million restoration of Adkin Branch

David Anderson
Staff Writer

March 9, 2009 - 9:58PM
After four years of planning, debating and wrangling with property owners, construction began on the Adkin Branch Stream Restoration Project on Monday.
David Knight, who has spent just over a week as the state's assistant secretary of natural resources, spoke during a groundbreaking ceremony held outside Holloway Recreation Center.
"Thank you for including me in this proud occasion for the city, for the Neuse River basin and the state," Knight said.
Workers with Sylva-based Appalachian Environmental Services will spend the next seven months shaping the banks along a 2-mile section of the stream between N.C. 11/55 and Lincoln Street to reduce the severity of floods and improve water quality.
"We know that if God wants to flood an area, he will, but we can lessen their frequency and make them not as high," City Manager Scott Stevens told the crowd.
Major flooding took place in the designated area after Hurricane Floyd struck during 1999 and the federal government has since bought out most of the land.
The city has been working with the North Carolina Ecosystem Enhancement Program to acquire about 200 properties - owned by the city and private citizens - located along the stream.
Once work on the stream - which the EEP is overseeing - is complete, vegetation will be planted along the banks to absorb any pollutants that could flow into the water.
Federal and state funds will cover the project's $2.7 million price tag.
The EEP is the offspring of the state Departments of Transportation and Environment and Natural Resources, plus the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"It all boils down to partnerships and cooperation," said EEP Director Bill Gilmore, who calculated that the project could generate 100 jobs.
David Anderson can be reached at (252) 559-1077 or danderson@freedomenc.com.
-Construction on Adkin Branch will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday through October.
-Officials do not anticipate closing roads or bridges during construction, but pedestrians should take care around the work area, which will be fenced off.
-Two pedestrian bridges in the target area, located at Washington Avenue and Holloway Park, will be replaced. A third bridge at the end of Rochelle Boulevard will be removed.
-For more information contact either Steve Miller of the Kinston Department of Public Services at (252) 939-3285 or Project Manager Kristie Corson at (919) 715-1954.