Parks receive damage

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Just like homes, power lines and roads that sustained damage due to Tropical Storm Michael, so did area state parks.

A washed out segment of the trail from High Bridge Trail State Park demonstrates just that. The segment, which is closed, is a hole that extends approximately 50 feet long, 20 feet wide and about 20-25 feet deep.

Park Manager Daniel Jordan said the hole was caused by the heavy rain and flooding due to Michael, which in turn caused the culvert pipe that runs underneath the trail to collapse.

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He said the park is hiring a contractor that will replace the culvert pipe, fill up the hole and repair the trail.

Twin Lakes State Park saw some similar flooding, which caused the Haunting On the Lake event, set to take place Oct. 19-20, to be rescheduled for Friday and Saturday.

Assistant Park Manager Nat Claybrook said the lower part of the trail where the event was going to be sustained some flooding and mud.

“We just moved it across the road,” Claybrook said about the event. “Our volunteers and all needed some time to set up on the other trails.”

Twin Lakes is only accessible from Route 360, Claybrook said.

Due to the location of the High Bridge Trail wash out, which Jordan said is in the area of Burkes Lane, he said the bridge is inaccessible from the downtown Farmville Main Street access entrance.

Jordan said he is uncertain of when the culvert was installed. High Bridge which had originally been built to accommodate a rail line, was built in 1854.

“We’re going to move as fast as we can,” Jordan said about repairing the segment of the trail. “But it is going to be a major project because it’s a pretty significant collapse, and so we’re going to have that section closed during that time.”

He said due to the extent of the repair, that segment could be closed for a number of months. Jordan said participants can access the bridge from the Camp Paradise entrance or from the River Road entrance.

“We really want to stress that we don’t want people in there because where the collapse is it’s not stable,” Jordan said. “So we don’t want any injuries or anything like that.”

He said the repair is expected to include a 100-year floodplan perspective that would potentially prevent similar washouts from taking place in that area in the future.

“Going from town to the bridge is not a viable option at this juncture,” Jordan said.