President's Corner


Fall is Upon Us!

For the first time in several years the weather was great, the Lake Gaston Festival enjoyed terrific weather and big crowds. Our LGA booth featured a popular hands-on display of aquatic plants and photo exhibit of local snakes, all of which can be found in and around Lake Gaston. So many people, young and grown up, stopped by to talk about our exhibits and what we do. It was terrific to meet and talk with so many interesting folks from near and afar.


We are now in the middle of our Fall Lake Survey of 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. Over the next few months, NCSU will be analyzing the data that has been collected and formulating strategies for managing the aquatic world below us.


Also, as the summer crowds disappear, it is all the more important to support your local businesses. If we don’t support them, they may not be here when you really need them. At the end of every issue of the LGA Bulletin, there is a listing of all our business members. You can also find them by going to the LGA website. That list is a good place to start looking for a local source.


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!


With the passing of Labor Day weekend, many of our neighbors have, or are thinking about, shutting their vacation home for the winter season. We look forward to seeing you again in the Spring.


For the full timers that remain, enjoy the beauty that is Fall on Lake Gaston. If you still have your winter preparations ahead of you, take extra care with ladders and any work up on the roof. Finally, don’t forget to replace the batteries in your smoke detector.


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.