culvert

East Fifth Street, which closed back in February, has been blocked off by cones and fences since the project began.

East Fifth Street will re-open to traffic around July 15 as the Town Creek Culvert project progresses, while the intersection of Evans Street and Reade Circle will close for further construction.

Kevin Mulligan, director of public works in Greenville, said East Fifth Street is set to reopen around July 15. The street has been closed due to construction for the ongoing Town Creek Culvert project. He said the city is working to open East Fifth Street as quickly as possible.

“Opening up East Fifth Street, that is the main East/West access to the Uptown area, as well as the main street in front of the university,” Mulligan said. “We want to get that open as soon as possible to help the flow of traffic to our uptown area as well as make life easier for everyone at the university.”

Mulligan said as soon as East Fifth Street reopens, the intersection of Evans Street and Reade Circle will close for “several weeks” as another phase of the Town Creek Culvert construction goes underway. He said equipment will still be present along Reade Circle as the construction continues.

According to the City of Greenville’s website, the closure of Evans Street and Reade Circle is for a water line relocation project which will take place between Cotanche Street and Dickinson Avenue. The website says the closure of the intersection of Evans Street and Reade Circle will last from mid-July into August.

An additional area under construction is Washington Street and Eighth Street. According to Mulligan, Washington Street will be paved “shortly” while Eighth Street is projected to be under construction for a longer duration.

Mulligan said parts of Eighth Street will be open and Washington Street west of the intersection of Washington Street while Eighth Street will still be under construction for “a few more months.”

Mulligan said the goal of the entire Town Creek Culvert project is to help with the control of intense rainstorms and flooding in Greenville.

“The existing culvert is designed to handle only very small storms,” Mulligan said. “The new culvert that is being built is for a much larger storm, it would (be able to) handle the event of Hurricane Irene.”

PJ Connelly, mayor of Greenville, said the culvert will help with localized flooding, especially over short periods of time, like two to three inches of rain over the period of an hour. He said the project will make “a tremendous difference.”

“I think people sometimes don’t understand the scope of how large that infrastructure is and how much square footage that drainage actually covers,” Connelly said. “We’re looking forward to having this new stormwater infrastructure in place to be able to help mitigate some of those localized flooding issues we’ve had in the past.”

The city is experiencing more stormwater due to the 10th Street Connector project, according to Connelly. He said the culvert construction can be an issue concerning detours, however, the construction was best for the city.

“From a longevity standpoint this was the best thing for the city,” Connelly said. “It was a significant investment, a 30 million dollar investment, for the city to be able to mitigate some of those (flooding) issues.”

Connelly said the city understands people are highly anticipating the reopening of East Fifth Street, and one reason for doing the construction during the summer is to affect university traffic as little as possible.

Clayton Coley, a construction management major at ECU, said he stayed in Greenville over the summer for work and is anticipating the opening of East Fifth Street to help with his commute.

“I have to travel right by East Fifth every day to get to and from my house and it’s made it a little harder with the street being closed and having to use detours,” Coley said. “But, I think people are happy it (East Fifth Street) will open soon to make getting through uptown easier.”

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