President's Corner

As summer draws to a close, our LGA committees are busy planning for upcoming programs.


We remain committed to fulfill our mission “to identify issues affecting our members and pursue resolution with the responsible organization.” Our recent survey indicates that our committee work, our programs and activities are valued, and we are on the right track supporting communities around the lake.


In an effort to serve our communities better, we polled our members to gather information on what’s important to you. The survey was made available online and emailed to all members and business owners.


Our survey results have been consistent over the years with major areas of concern to include: invasive aquatic plants, community safety, communications and water safety. We are already addressing some of these topics for you.


Over the next several months, you may see volunteers on the lake conducting the annual Fall Lake Survey of aquatic vegetation. This is a team effort with NC State University’s Aquatic Management, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission and many volunteers. The findings from this survey will help to determine treatment plans, actions, etc. for next year. This is a major effort and we rely heavily on volunteers to complete our task. We provide information and training to make this effort as easy as possible. Come work with us.


We invite you to join us for our September 5th monthly meeting as our local sheriffs address safety and law enforcement around the lake area. Our meetings are held at the Lake Gaston Baptist church 9:30 a.m. As we learn about ways to improve community safety, it is important for our law enforcement officers to get to know us better as well.


We hear from many of you that our LGA Bulletins are a great way to stay connected to lake news - especially for many who are part-timers. We enjoy keeping you informed about our work, community events and of course ways you can volunteer.


Please be careful as we experience the planned construction work on Eaton Ferry Bridge. The Eaton Ferry Bridge is an important passage way for many of us and we look forward to having a new and improved bridge and waterway over the next several months.


Stay safe!


~ Mozine Lowe, LGA 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.