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Cornelius News

$122 million in road construction coming

April 10. By Dave Vieser. Get ready for more road construction in Cornelius as eight projects are either under way or will be soon. We’re talking big bucks, with a conservative value in excess of $122 million.   

“The No. 1 issue I hear from citizens when talking about quality of life, mobility or development is the impact of traffic,” said Mayor Woody Washam. “Currently, they cannot reliably get from place to place in a timely manner. I experience this on my frequent travels around town. It is going to take multiple transportation projects to improve our ability to get from Point A to Point B.”

There are eight different projects in various stages of development, and motorists must stay alert as they travel around town.

The first is the only project being paid for by just the town:

Jetton Road extension: Construction is well underway on this town funded project. Most of the sidewalk/concrete/curbing work is complete and the actual asphalt work is currently scheduled for April.  The whole project is scheduled for completion by the end of June. The total cost is $2.89 million, with the work performed by Blythe of Charlotte.

US 21/Catawba Avenue roundabouts: Land has already started to be cleared for these two roundabouts, one north and one south of the 21/Catawba intersection. The goal is to reduce and/or eliminate congestion caused by left turning traffic. This DOT project carries a price tag of approximately $21 million, with a town share of $1.8 million. Estimated completion is early 2025.

NC 115/Potts Road Roundabout: Land has also been significantly cleared at this location on the border of Davidson and Cornelius. The purpose is to improve safety issues due to several intersections that are in close proximity. This $16.6 million DOT project will require a contribution of $4.7 million in town funds. Estimated completion is early 2025.

Torrence Chapel roundabouts: A limited amount of land for the rights of way has been cleared for the three different roundabouts, but much more remains to be done. This project is ultimately designed to reduce congestion at the Torrence Road/West Catawba/Liverpool Parkway intersection. Work on this project was temporarily delayed but in October 2023 “the Town Board decided to move forward with all three roundabouts and modifications on left turns,” said Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron. This DOT project will cost $16.8 million, with a town share of $8.8 million. Completion is estimated in the fall of 2027.

Hickory Street Signal: A traffic signal, along with associated intersection improvements, will improve safety at this busy intersection.The project, under the DOT, will cost $3.74 million, with a town share of $1.5 million. Estimated completion is late 2025.

Northcross Drive Extension: This project will extend Northcross Drive from north of Highway 73 to Westmoreland Road, providing additional north/south connectivity between Cornelius and Huntersville. It will also open up land-locked property for non-residential development. The total cost for this DOT project is $21.08 million, with a town share of $3.49 million. Bidding expected this summer with completion in late 2027.

Bailey Road extension: A dangerous curve on Bailey Road will be eliminated by this extension of Bailey Road straight to Highway 21. It will eventually connect to a Bailey Road flyover. Total DOT project cost is currently $19.1 million, with the town responsible for $2.38 million prior to contract. Project bidding will take place in October 2025, with estimated completion in fall of 2027.

West Catawba Avenue widening: To no one’s surprise, this DOT project, currently pegged at a cost of $33.7 million, has experienced delays in right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation. Officially, the new date for seeking bids will be November of 2026, with completion in 2029. However, there may be some hope for a more rapid schedule according to Mayor Washam. “I am hopeful we can move this project sooner depending on completion of right-of-way acquisition and utility movement.”

More projects are on the drawing boards:

Widening of US 21 in Huntersville/Cornelius: DOT Construction dates range from 2026-2029.

NC 73 widening: This will primarily impact traffic at the Catawba/Sam Furr Road interchange, as well as a short section of NC 73 west of that interchange. Construction range of 2026-2029.

I-77 shoulder hardening: Construction dates range from 2024-2026. No costs available at this time.