Defense cuts could impact area as city takes step toward growth

Published: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 06:18 PM.

The old Church Road Bridge, built in 1924, was the site of two fatal crashes in 2012. It is scheduled to be torn down sometime this month.

The portion of Church Road that leads to the old bridge will be returned to its natural setting, as the city seeks to use the creek as a focal point for recreation.

The city already owns property in the area and hopes to add other property to complete a scenic recreation area that would include access from the Havelock Tourist and Event Center as well as the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels.

"It gives the community a sense of place," Freeman said of the project. "It’s such a great concept, not just with the bridge but connecting that bridge to what the commissioners are doing in that whole target area, with the property they are talking about acquiring, the potential expansion in the future of the TEC by the aviation foundation, and that Bate grant that they got ties into that.

"It will give Havelock a sense of place when this project is fully completed. The opportunity is just abound. It’s great for the city to continue that. What the city is considering now is doing a master plan concept for that area where they can put all these ideas together, tying the bridge and the Civil War site, the walking trails, the tourist center and the recreation on Slocum Creek and looking at that in 2013."

A key person on the project would be the city’s planning director. Havelock enters 2013 without a person in that position, but Freeman said an offer has been made to fill the job. 

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