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Cornelius News

Contract for twin roundabouts OK’d

Feb. 18. By Dave Vieser. At the Feb. 17 meeting last night, the Cornelius Town Board unanimously approved a $17.4 million contract with the state NCDOT which will fund the construction of twin roundabout/circles on Hwy. 21 at Catawba.

All but $502,000 will be paid by the state, and any cost overruns will be the town’s responsibility. Heavy construction is expected to commence in early 2021 according to Assistant Town Manager Wayne Herron, but utility relocations may start sooner.

“Although the roundabouts will be set a distance from the intersection, at some point in the project, there will be work in the main intersection for lane reconfigurations and signal change outs” Herron said. ” “Until the contractor is brought on by DOT and a specific schedule is set, we will not know when that will be.”

The project is the DOT’s final determination of how best to handle traffic at the busy intersection where a new QuikTrip convenience store is being built. Previous plans which were ultimately rejected included one which would have required left turning traffic on eastbound Catawba to navigate a right turn past the intersection first, somewhat similar to the design of the Sam Furr Road/Hwy. 21 intersection in Huntersville.

This option would have required acquisition of significant property southeast of the intersection and was met with strong community opposition.

The south roundabout will be located just east of the entrance to the Lucky Dog restaurant, while the north roundabout will be just past the old Days Inn property, where a new State Employees Credit Union will be built.

The town’s $502,0009 portion of the funding has already been paid to the NCDOT. The remainder of the project cost will come from NCDOT I77 Bonus Allocation Funds.

In other action the board:

—Conducted the first of two public hearings on a request by Sitetec Inc. of Charlotte to erect five flex buildings on vacant land southwest of the Circle K on Bailey Road near Hwy. 115. Previously the town had approved two buildings on the same site, currently owned by Circle K, but they were never built.

—Set Monday March 2 as the date for a public hearing on a proposed extension of $4 million in arts and town center bonds, initially approved by voters in 2013, to 2023. Permission to float the bonds will currently expire on Nov. 5, 2020. The North Carolina Local Government Commission has already approved the extension.

The March 2 hearing will commence at 7 pm in Town Hall on Catawba Avenue.