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Cornelius News

Analysis: Growth vs lack of road improvements looks like the No. 1 issue

Traffic on W. Catawba

July 19. Dave Vieser. Just in case anyone needed to be reminded, road improvements and growth have become the major topics of concern in this election year. The sudden reversal of fortunes Monday evening for Cornelius Business Park is the most recent example.

There were several other significant developments concerning transportation issues this week in Cornelius:

1. Prior to the regular July 17 Town Board meeting, the town’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) met with the commissioners and unveiled their priority projects for the town. In summary, the TAB has identified three major corridors, all east-west in nature, within which the most important improvements are needed. The corridors are Bailey Road, Westmoreland Road, and West Catawba Avenue. They urged both the board and the NCDOT to prioritize the various projects planned for those corridors.

2. At the same meeting, Mayor Woody Washam announced the formation of a new transportation task force. “The purpose will be to investigate how to more quickly move critical town road projects forward within the town. Its a follow-up to the good work and recommendations from the already established Transportation Advisory Board which were discussed at the board meeting on July 17th.” This will include town and state-funded projects recommended by the town’s Transportation Advisory Board (TAB).

3. The commissioners also agreed to increase the size of the TAB to eight members and added new members Lin Snowa, Michael Case and Richard Rohr.

4. At their Monday meeting, the Board of Commissioners also approved a resolution which will initiate a traffic mitigation study for Bailey Road. “This study will evaluate possible mitigation that may be applied at both Bailey Middle School and Hough High School,” said Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron. “In addition, if we find any additional mitigation steps for the Bailey Road/NC 115 intersection that could alleviate congestion related to school traffic, that too will be considered.”

5. At the pre-agenda meeting Herron also revealed that the overall cost for the widening of West Catawba Avenue widening may be less than the $50 million-plus price tag mentioned by NCDOT recently. No matter what the cost, the town’s share should be only a fraction of the project, due to successful negotiations with the state.

“We should know more soon,” Herron said.