Hurricanes

Safe route into Fayetteville neighborhood repaired in record time

Posted October 27

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— Traffic is flowing once again in and out of the Rayconda neighborhood across Siple Avenue. The earthen dam has been reinforced and repaired in record time after being damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

For the residents of the 237 homes in the Rayconda neighborhood, Siple Avenue is the only safe way in and out. Water from Hurricane Matthew had filled the lake that used to be on the road to the point the earthen dam gave way. It created a nightmare for residents, but it pulled the community together.

“We all walked over together and then we heard about 30 minutes later that the bridge was gone, which we knew the bridge was going to go,” said resident Tracey Graham. “One good storm, we’ve all known for a long time that bridge was going.”

The damage forced residents to walk and drive over Rayconda Parkway, which had been closed and deemed unsafe by the state two years ago. Flood water had damaged it more, so residents pulled shifts with walkie-talkies to safely manage people going across.

“They were the ones that were basically making sure that there was only one car on the bridge at a time as well as going ten miles an hour. So that it just simply did not interrupt any further erosion to the roadway,” said Homeowners Association President Freddy Rivera.

The reopening of Siple Avenue means residents and emergency vehicles can get safely in and out of the neighborbood.

The focus is now to restore the damaged part of the lake.

“It’s going to be a long-term project, but we certainly hope that at one given point the lake will be restored back to its glory,” Rivera said.

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