Wilson Engineers Hope to Make Peace Between Canal, Residents
Posted January 10, 1999 6:00 a.m. EST
WILSON — We've all seen in recent years how precious wetlands are. But what happens when a canal and people get too close to each other? A state plan could protect a Wilson waterway and the park it's threatening.
The Hominy Canal looks peaceful, but it is actually a battleground in the fight between man and nature; the canal flows right through a Wilson city park.
Day after day, year after year, the canal is eating away at precious land that is dangerously close to the city's recreation center.
"The parking lot next to the building itself was actually starting to fall into the canal. There was a picnic structure on the other side being threatened, and we were looking for ways to make some changes so the structure would be preserved for the future," said Gary Mills, Wilson City engineer.
A state pilot project could help. The program would make subtle changes to the canal that would preserve its integrity while decreasing erosion.
A little digging and some vegetation here could have long term benefits, even upstream.
"From that analysis, we'll know what needs to be done upstream to reduce the flooding that's actually coming to the recreation park. So, we'll be able to minimize the flooding, and at the same time, protect the structures in the park area itself," said Mills.
The project still needs to be studied before it begins. Once the paperwork is out of the way, engineers can begin to make peace between the canal and the people who use it.
The project could cost upwards of a quarter million dollars. Nearly all of that money should come from state taxes.