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Neighbors Concerned after Military Equipment Dug Up Nearby

By Mahsa Saeidi, Reporter
Published On: Jul 16 2012 10:26:15 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 17 2012 07:30:07 AM CDT
0716 mortars found
JACKSONVILLE -

Neighbors are concerned after contractors dig up discarded military equipment in a construction site after possible old scrap yard is dug up.

The equipment was found next to the intersection of Marine Boulevard and the Highway 17 Bypass in Jacksonville.  NC DOT officials say they are overseeing the project, and that Balfour Beatty Infrastructure is the assigned contractor.

Liza Cáceres, the Manager of Communications at Balfour Beatty, said crews uncovered the items last week while excavating at the construction site.  Cáceres said local police were notified.  Jacksonville police then contacted Camp Lejeune officials to help identify and remove the materials.

Camp Lejeune spokesman Nat Fahy said the Explosive Ordnance Disposal was dispatched as a service to local law enforcement. The team eventually uncovered several hundred expended rocket motors.  Fahy said nothing potentially explosive was found.

Officials say the site is off-base and never owned or controlled by the Department of Defense.  It is believed the property was once the site of a scrap yard in the 50’s.

Mack Berry, 78, lives across the street from the project.

"I don't feel comfortable, but nothing I can do about it," said Berry.

When asked what he would like to see done, Berry said, "I don't guess I like to see anything happen.  They go digging in there, and they may explode something."

Cáceres said all work in the area has stopped until after officials finish the search for discarded materials.