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Cornelius News

Clearing for roundabout, apartments takes toll on landscape at Cornelius/Davidson border

Photo: Rusty Knox Facebook screenshot

March 19. By Dave Yochum. A roundabout ​being built on Main Street just south of the Norfolk Southern Railroad trestle has been years in the making but site work over the weekend caught people in Davidson and Cornelius by surprise.

A vast swath of trees has been cut down to make way for the roundabout which will relieve the bottleneck caused by cars in the northbound lane turning left toward the YMCA on Davidson Street as well as Potts Street heading north.

At the same time, the site for 237 new Crescent Development apartments on Potts is being cleared.

In short, it looks like a bomb went off.


Photo: Rusty Knox Facebook screen shot

It’s also caused something of a skirmish between the mayors of the adjoining towns.

Davidson Mayor Rusty Knox said “there are right ways to address change and wrong ways to deal with change. The roundabout project coming into Davidson from Cornelius is the wrong way.”

The disagreement dates back to at least five years to when the project was still in the planning stages. The Davidson Town Board objected to the size and scope of the project.

Key among Davidson’s wishes was a five-foot pedestrian walkway. A 10-foot wide plan favored by Cornelius is going forward, making for a larger roundabout, which Davidson opposed.

“Legacy trees are gone and the southern entrance to our Town is forever changed,” Knox said.


Woody Washam

Cornelius Mayor Woody Washam on Facebook said he truly wished “new roads could be built without cutting any tree—just not a reality.”

Knox also suggested opening Church Street to the YMCA site could have been an option. Doing so was opposed by nearby Cornelius residents as well as Washam, whose childhood home is on Church Street.

“To to think Church Street could ever be opened up to the Y is just dum!!” he said.

“Love Rusty but just saying,” he added.


The current angled Potts Street/NC 115 intersection results in poor sight distance for drivers. As traffic continues to increase, congestion and queuing are expected to worsen. The purpose of the project is to improve traffic operations for drivers traveling through the area. The Potts/115 roundabout project was valued at $6.9 million in 2019.

NCDOT rendering