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Nantz Road intersection: Still a horror show for Cornelius

20161031_143244Nov. 7. By Dave Vieser.  The intersection of Nantz Road and West Catawba Avenue is still a mess, as it has been since May, creating both a safety and aesthetic issue for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and homeowners. And it may be weeks before the final improvements and road realignment will be completed. To make matters worse, an oddly placed curb to nowhere divides the entry lane on the right, making the intersection virtually impassable for cyclists and pedestrians.

“The work performed last May made the intersection even more dangerous as the cones and barrels block vision to the left as you exit,” said Cornelius Commissioner Dr. Mike Miltich, who lives on Nantz Road. He said many of his neighbors had voiced their discontent and frustration with the pace of the project, as well as the condition the road was left in. “This really was a traumatic summer for the Nantz peninsula residents with the torn up intersection coupled with the additional massive influx of new beach goers.”

Here’s how this situation unfolded during the past two years:

Recognizing that added traffic would be generated by the new homes being built on Nantz Road, as well as the new beach, the town commissioners required Epcon, which is building the new private home subdivision in that area, to realign the awkward intersection as part of their projects’ approval. Simultaneously Mecklenburg County was required to install a traffic signal at the corner, which only has a stop sign for Nantz Road motorists, and to extend the right turn lane. These requirements were formally adopted in 2015. As a result, Mecklenburg County contracted with Epcon to extend the turn lane as part of the intersection improvements.

“Epcot issued a request to have all utilities relocated with the respective agencies in late 2015 and early 2016,” Herron said. They also erected the “standing curb” at the intersection as a guide for utilities to go by for relocating utilities.

It’s taken many months, but as of Nov. 1, all utilities, including Charlotte Water, electric, MI-Connection, and Piedmont Gas, have been moved…except for AT&T. “In my most recent conversation with Epcon, AT&T said they should begin their work within two weeks,” Herron said.

So, how long will it take for the corner to finally be finished?

“Four to eight weeks from the moment AT&T gets started” Herron estimated.

Miltich and his neighbors remain unconvinced. “Since the light was supposed to be in place by Memorial Day, then July 4th, any stated time line now is met with skepticism,” he said.