Funding OK'd for Bridge
Riverbend's wait for a bridge has ended.
A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for $600,000 has been approved by the Division of Community Assistance, an agency of the N.C. Department of Commerce, for the engineering of a permanent solution to the culvert washed out during Tropical Storm Hanna in September 2008.
"We received word late yesterday (Thursday) from Sen. (Harris) Blake's office that the grant had been approved," said Joey Raczkowski, the county's director of planning and community development.
Riverbend residents were left stranded when torrential rains spawned by Hanna washed out the earthen bridge spanning a culvert on Autumn Road, the only access road for the private subdivision to the outside world. Almost 80 households were affected when the bridge washed out.
Because the road is privately owned, the state and the county were legally barred from providing financial help, other than some in-kind services of an emergency nature. Several county and state agencies tried to assist Riverbend, and finally the N.C. Forestry Service was able to install a temporary bridge.
In the meantime, Moore County officials explored a variety of resources for a more permanent solution. Thursday, they found out the solution had arrived in the form of the grant.
Raczkowski said preliminary work remains to be done before the money would be released. He expected that to be done within the next two months.
The grant will cover the project 100 percent, Raczkowski said, without any matching funds from the county or Riverbend residents required.
Senior writer Florence Gilkeson contributed to this story.
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