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Signature Downtown Clock Falls Down

Cary, NC – If you’ve been losing track of time lately, there may be a good reason for that. Construction along Academy Street revealed little foundation around the downtown clock’s base and it fell over, temporarily putting it out of order.

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Bad Timing

As part of the Downtown Streetscape plan, which has recently opened Academy Street back up to two-way traffic, the base around the downtown clock, known as the Rotary Clock, was going to be removed and replaced to expand the sidewalk.

“The Streetscape Plan called to maintain the clock but remove the planter around it and put in a small brick wall for support,” said Kyle Hubert, Cary’s senior engineer for the Academy Streetscape project.

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But when the contractor dug into the veneer, it was revealed that the foundation had no lateral support and the Rotary Clock fell over on Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

“We thought the foundation would be more substantial than it was and the contractor dug too deep,” Hubert said. “It was a surprise that the foundation wasn’t better but it’s held up for 30 years.”

The clock was installed in 1986 by the Cary and Central Cary Rotary Clubs.

The former site of the downtown clock

The former site of the downtown clock, awaiting its return

Road to Repair

For those unaware, the Rotary Clock stood in a large flower planter at the intersection of Academy and Chatham Street, diagonal from Fidelity Plaza.

Hubert said he is disappointed they now have to deal with reinstalling the clock but the contractor is taking responsibility for it and is currently working with clock manufacturer the Verdin Company to fix damage done to the clock when it fell down.

“They are assessing the damage now,” he said. “And it will be in better condition when it goes back.”

For now, Hubert and the town is waiting to hear about the status of the Rotary Clock before there is a time table for its return.

“It’s a shame that it’s going to be down because it is the centerpiece for that intersection,” he said.

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Story by Michael Papich. Photos by Michael Papich, Google Maps and Hal Goodtree.