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Cornelius News

‘Bonus allocation’ money for Hwy. 115 at YMCA?


Aug. 31. While Cornelius commissioners are about to consider an expanded parking plan for the Lake Norman YMCA next week, town and state officials have also been meeting to consider possible improvements to Hwy. 115/North Main where it intersects with Davidson Street. There’s not a turning lane so northbound YMCA members sometimes delay through traffic on the state-maintained road.

There is one big catch, however: The funding source for the project is “bonus allocation” money, a one-time pot of gold being made available by the state to local jurisdictions along the I-77 toll lane project. If the toll lane project is canceled, “the bonus allocation projects would no longer be funded,” according to DOT spokeswoman Jordan-Ashley Baker. Therefore, a new funding source would have to be found.

The money is hard to resist, and something of a conundrum in light of the town’s vote to this past spring opposing the I-77 toll plan, as well as a vote directing Woody Washam, the town’s delegate to the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization, to symbolically vote down the toll plan earlier this month.

“The design has not yet been determined,” said Assistant Town Manager Andrew Grant, “but I anticipate that it will commence within the next six months.”

There is a total of $145 million in bonus allocation projects that come with the Public Private Partnership, a tasty carrot for local officials who want local improvements.

Grant said the NCDOT will work “cooperatively with the town to engage in a public process and perform traffic modeling and engineering” to help determine what the design and improvements will be.

Some of the improvements being discussed include the addition of turning lanes, reducing the curve on Highway 115 and a traffic light.

“A traffic circle to encompass the Potts Street intersection has also been mentioned,” said Town Commissioner Woody Washam.

“A development is under consideration adjacent to the Y property which is mostly within Davidson. That could give the Y some additional access as well. Much more to come on this, but an engineering study and analysis would be a first step assuming the bonus allocation moves forward,” Washam said.