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Cornelius News

Hwy. 115 has reopened after unannounced closing

Sept. 15. By Dave Vieser.  What we have here is a failure to communicate!

So it appears in relation to the closing of NC Hwy. 115 at Bailey Road this week, creating all kinds of problems for motorists traveling through town, and especially for those traveling to and from Hough and Bailey Middle.

We did some research and it appears the town was blindsided.

The work, initiated by Norfolk Southern Railroad, involved repairs at the crossing spur just north of Bailey Road. The railroad notified the NCDOT last month.

“For a closure of this magnitude, whereby both lanes of travel are completely closed for longer than a 24-hour period, it would have been beneficial if the Town were notified by DOT in advance of the closure,” said Town Manager Andrew Grant. “Then we could have recommended a different day/time to perform the work that would minimize traffic conflicts, and also could have notified the community-at-large weeks in advance.”

Grant said this type of cooperation has occurred in the past and worked well. “It’s unfortunate that it did not occur this time,” he said, explaining that the town has communicated these concerns to the DOT.

The road reopened yesterday afternoon.

What NCDOT says 

For their part, spokeswoman Jen Thompson said “Norfolk Southern’s contractor advised us last month about the closing, but it’s the contractor’s responsibility to notify such organizations as fire and police, as well as dispatch and school bus transportation.”

Efforts to reach the contractor were unsuccessful.

When the DOT learned of the towns concerns, they sent supervisors up to Cornelius in order to be sure detour signs were properly displayed.

Residents not happy

That was too little too late for motorists caught up in traffic jams both Tuesday and Wednesday. Comments such as this from Jessica Gambill Harcar on social media were typical.

“It would be nice to get this info earlier or pick different times to do it! And we need better signage for sure when it is happening,” she said.