LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – Lake Junaluska has received a certificate of approval from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality authorizing construction activity to begin on the restoration of the bridge over the dam.
“The state has been evaluating the design of the bridge to assure it meets all current state standards,” said Jack Carlisle, director of Assembly Public Works at Lake Junaluska. “With their approval, now we can begin restoration immediately.”
The work is expected to take four to six months to complete, according to Mackie McKay with RCF Construction, which is contracted to restore the bridge.
“Steel beams have been on site for a few weeks while we awaited approval for construction to begin,” McKay said. “With no unanticipated delays, we plan to have the bridge open this fall.”
The $1.2 million project is being paid from a combination of charitable giving and service charges from property owners at Lake Junaluska.
“This iconic bridge is being restored to vehicular traffic and maintained for pedestrian use because of gifts from those who love Lake Junaluska and use its facilities,” said Ken Howle, executive director at Lake Junaluska. “It has been an amazing experience to watch the overwhelming amount of charitable support we’ve received.”
The pedestrian walkway will remain open throughout the project unless it is necessary to close it for short periods for safety reasons.
The Lake Junaluska bridge has existed for more than 100 years, and it has served as a vehicular route and pedestrian walkway. In 2016, the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic due to deterioration of the bridge’s steel support beams. In 2017, the Lake Junaluska Board of Trustees voted to restore the bridge to vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Renewal of the bridge will maintain the full loop of the walking trail, make it possible to drive completely around the lake and restore one of Lake Junaluska’s historic landmarks. Most importantly, it will preserve these important experiences for future generations.
Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit www.lakejunaluska.com.