The Tryon United Baptist Church will be moving to a property next door because it’s on a stretch of highway deemed unsafe by the Department of Transportation.
A number of areas on the Trans-Canada Highway will see work later this summer, including a 1.6 km curve on Route 1 in Tryon.
“In order to realign the highway they needed to go through our property,” said Connie McCardle, a member of the church’s congregation. “We all came together and decided to go ahead with the project.”
In February, the provincial government approached the church with a proposal to move the building. McCardle said the request to move the structure threw a curveball at members.
“There was a lot of surprise. It came out of the blue. But once everyone understood what was going on they were OK with it.”
Stephen Yeo is the chief engineer for the Department of Transportation; he examined the scene in Tryon and says an upgrade was necessary.
“This stretch of highway is well below the national guidelines,” said Yeo. “We looked at all of our options and thought it was better in the long run to move the church.”
The church members voted unanimously to allow the move of their building.
“We felt it was in the best interest of everyone to relocate,” said McCardle. “It’s a very dangerous stretch of highway and we don’t want to stall work from beginning on it.”
The province will cover all expenses with the move. They’ve also ensured the church will not be damaged.
“We will bring in professionals to move the church safely,” said Yeo.
McCardle also received a guarantee nothing will go wrong.
“We’ve been told this company has moved much larger things in the past. They said moving the church wouldn’t be a problem.”
Members of the church just wanted to help make the road safer however they could, said McCardle.
She recalls numerous close calls on the dangerous curve near the church.
“There have been a number of accidents that I can remember. Trucks would come by with their wide loads and lose control on the turn and nearly tip over.”
During the construction process churchgoers will be using an alternate building for Sunday service.
The church should be relocated to the vacant lot by late August.
Yeo expects construction on the project to wrap up early October.
“There’s still more work to do. We have a lot of worked planned in 2015.”