A second and more expensive construction problem has arisen at the North Carolina Veterans Park in Fayetteville. It could cost nearly $100 thousand to correct. Last summer, a crack was discovered in a glass monument, which authorities are attributing to wind that rocked the tall glass structure. Engineers are still trying to figure out the best way of stabilizing the monument. The state of North Carolina funded construction of the park at a cost of $12 million. It opened on July 4, 2011, and was dedicated by then-Governor Beverly Perdue as the nation’s only state park dedicated to veterans.
More recently, another problem was discovered. Walls of a pair of large underground vaults that house huge water pumps began to collapse. Recycled water is pumped to five fountains on the park grounds. The fountains are checked regularly. The walls of the vaults, or fiberglass cabinets, face a steep hill across Bragg Boulevard where rain water runs off underground.
“Over the last two years, we’ve encountered high runoff…six inches of water so far this year alone,” says Parks & Recreation Director Michael Gibson.
Asked if engineers had forecast the potential stress on the large vaults Gibson said, “I don’t know if any amount of calculation could have predicted the inordinate amount of rain that caused underground pressure” to disturb the walls of the cabinets. Construction crews are in the process of shoring up the two affected walls. The cabinets measure 20 X 10 feet and 50 feet deep.
Metal plates are being installed alongside the walls. Then parallel concrete walls will be constructed to hold back the earth. Metal rods will connect the two, allowing space between them for rocks to be installed to serve as a sort of French drain. Cost of the project thus far is $88 thousand. The city has to absorb that cost even though it’s a state park because it’s responsible for maintenance and repairs to the park as part of an agreement with the state.
“We’re always looking for issues in regular maintenance monitoring,” says Gibson. No other problems have developed that he’s aware of, he adds.
The State Veterans Park, 300 Bragg Blvd., honors North Carolina veterans from all branches of the military with flags and symbolic monuments. Walking paths, water features and sculptures are located throughout the park. The Oath of Service Wall displays bronze castings of North Carolina veterans’ hands, positioned at shoulder height as though they are taking the oath of service. Military history videos are shown in the visitor center, where a chandelier made of 33,500 dog tags hangs from the ceiling and a Service Ribbon Wall made of fused glass displays every service medal awarded since the Civil War.