President's Corner


Hello Everyone!

This is my first President’s column … The first thing I want to do is express my thanks to past President, Mozine Lowe. Mozine led the LGA for the past two years, though some challenging times – ever positive, ever cheerful, and always effective. The whole Lake Gaston community owes her a hearty “Thank You!”


By way of introduction, I’ll tell you that I first visited Lake Gaston in 1965 while camping with my parents at Tom Tucker’s Campground in Henrico. We camped here every summer until 1973. In the summer of ‘73, we assembled a log cabin house kit on a lot in Fox Hollow, right across the lake from the campground. Visits to the lake became year round events when my parents retired to the Lake and spent the next 25 years enjoying a second childhood here.


As retirement approached for us, we knew we wanted to spend our retirement years on “The Lake.” With the help of Mike Gupton at South Shore Realty, we found our dream house on Rocky Branch Creek, in Warren County, near mile marker 15. We bought in 2008 and retired in 2011.


Over the years, I’ve witnessed many changes as both lake area and I have grown. When we bought here, I knew I really wanted to help keep the Lake Gaston area the special place it is, so I joined the Lake Gaston Association (LGA). The LGA has many ways a person can volunteer to keep this the great place it is. What I found was that not only is this a special place, it is filled with incredible people. Over the years, I discovered a network of helpful and talented folks. If you need to know something, chances are the expertise is right here!


One of the important things the LGA does is support a survey of the aquatic vegetation around the whole 350+ miles of our shoreline. This survey is done by volunteers – us – to help NC State University with the management of the plant life in our lake. Plants are an important part of the lake ecosystem, we have both good and bad, or invasive, plants. Many people don’t realize it but, our lake community is at the forefront of determining just how to combat these invasive plants. See elsewhere in this issue for info on how you can help with this effort. Doing the plant survey is fun and truly an example of many hands making light work.


Another thing we can do to keep this place great is to support our local businesses. At the end of every Bulletin, there is contact information for all our business members. The Lake Gaston Chamber of Commerce is another good source of info for local businesses. The summer months are the most important for many of these businesses. Patronize them and keep them open


Most importantly, please remember to keep safety in mind when on and around the lake. Operate boats and personal watercraft responsibly and with courtesy


Don Carson, President


Eaton Ferry Bridge Construction Project

The construction project slated to perform rehabilitation of the Eaton Ferry Bridge, as well as perform causeway repairs, is scheduled to begin mid-July. The schedule continues through May 23, 2019. The contract has a few stipulations in regards to limitation of 2-way traffic across the bridge; Through the Tuesday after Labor Day (9/4/2018), limitation to 2-way traffic can only occur Monday through Thursday, at any time, EXCEPT during the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. as well as 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. That means that anytime outside those hours, limitation to 2-way traffic can occur. That also means that no limitation in 2-way traffic can occur from 5:00 a.m. Friday through 10:00 p.m. Sunday.


After 9/4/2018, Lane Closures can occur at any time except during our general holiday schedule, which will overlap Thanksgiving and Christmas, New Years, and Easter. Traffic limitations will occur via a temporary automatic raffic signal or flagging operation on smaller closures. These closures, due to limitations stated within the contract, should not interfere with any planned in regards to vehicular traffic.


Marine traffic will be affected by this project as well. At all times, the contractor is required to maintain at least 2 open bays for marine traffic underneath the bridge. This project includes concrete repairs on the bridge interior bents (concrete columns that go into the water). The contractor will be constructing a temporary structure/trestle underneath the bridge to allow for the workers to access underneath the bridge for repairs and painting be done. This will be in place during a significant portion of the project. There will be clear delineation via buoys in the water to promote the path marine traffic is to maintain.


In regard to emergency vehicles, a separate meeting will be held with the local officials to discuss emergency vehicle access. The temporary automatic traffic signal is equipped to determine an emergency vehicle is in need of crossing the bridge. The signal can receive notification via a vehicle equipped signal or by the sound of the siren on the vehicle. Once a notification as been received, the signal should turn green to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. This will occur after the last oncoming vehicle has passed to prevent a collision from occurring. More detail will be available at the time of the meeting with emergency officials. Also, Lane Closures are not going to be continuous along the entire causeway/bridge structure. They will only occur where the work is being performed.


Overview of presentation at LGA's Annual meeting on 6/11/16 and links to videos

Mr. Larry Meddock, the Chairman of the Water Sports Industry Association, who first gave a brief personal background and an overview of how the WSIA began and what it does currently, including working with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), the US Coast Guard and other state and federal agencies, to advance safety in the operation and enjoyment of Water Sports products from vessels in all classes to inflatables.


Larry identified the two leading causes of accidents, injuries and fatalities as Boating Under the Influence (BUI) and operator inattention. A significant number of incidents resulting from BUI occur during what can be referred to as “Booze Cruises" . These are often at night with poor lighting and too much liquid courage. A number of the operator inattention incidents involve injuries to persons/children being towed on inflatables. Coast Guard statistics reflect that such activity has the highest incidence of accidents of all causes.


Larry showed several videos including one addressing the life changing results of a night “Booze Cruise" which resulted in the collision of a vessel with a dock resulting in multiple injuries and one fatality. Such accidents are easy to avoid with proper planning and execution to include assuring that the vessel operator is not intoxicated by having a designated abstaining driver. Watch the VIDEO.


Larry then showed a CGI (computer generated image) video that highlighted all of the major rules and guidelines for safe towing of skiers, boarders, and inflatables. Studies have identified greater public acceptance without bias based responses to CGI representation of people rather than live models/actors. Larry provided a handout available from WSIA that includes a summary of the rules and guidelines for safe towing. The videos show the safest practices including those associated with towing multiple inflatables. Watch the VIDEO.


He also showed a short video addressing operator courtesy when operating “Wake" boats including methods for sharing the water and maintaining healthy relationships between people enjoying the water in different ways. He last addressed some of the current activity looking at how to make use and wear of life jackets more automatic for all ages just as the use of seat belts in vehicles has become. Watch the VIDEO.