Town expected to start Hurricane Florence street paving project


SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — It’s been a long road to post-Florence recovery in Surf City and one of the last steps in the rebuild is getting the roads repaired.

“We took a hit and we’ve recovered and this is kind of one of those last things that we’re trying to do in the recovery mode,” Chad Merritt, the maintenance and streets director, said.

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Hurricane Florence rocked the coast over a year ago and Surf City is still trying to get back to normal.

“After Florence, there was sand all over the road,” Merritt said. “The area we’re actually standing on right now had anywhere between 2 and 3 feet of sand. It was covering the roads you couldn’t even see them.”

Merritt says the roads are still difficult to navigate.

He says the mix of storm surge and heavy equipment wore them down.

“It damaged a lot of the roads on the north end where we had some of the largest surge and a lot of dune breaches,” Merritt said.

So, Merritt says the roughly $1.6 million Hurricane Florence Street Damage Paving Project is set to repair the roads in this area starting just north of North Surf Condos on North Shore Drive all the way down to Broadway Street.

“It’ll be a full reconstruction because a lot of these roads were developed many years ago, but the storm has kind of presented other issues so we’re going to be actually laying new aggregate down so it will have new subgrade under it,” Merritt said.

Merritt says now is the time to get started before tourist season..

“In town limits, there are less than 5,000 residents year round; however, we operate like a city that has over 30,000 because of the tourists and the visitors,” Merritt said. “You’ve got people that use this as their second home as well.”

As long as a cold spell doesn’t come through, Merritt says crews are on target to finish by March 1st.