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Real Estate

New plan eyed for Hwy. 21/Catawba

June 6. By Dave Vieser. At a meeting Tuesday in Town Hall, NCDOT officials and residents from the Smithville neighborhood reviewed plans for improvements at Hwy. 21 and Catawba Avenue, and it looks like they may have finally hit on something which is acceptable—a twin or double roundabout. Previous plans had included a standard roundabout at the intersection, as well as a “quad left turn,” but the new twin roundabout option seemed to receive the best reception from the attendance.

The twin roundabout was best received of all the options. “I think it’s perfect,” said Town Commissioner Thurman Ross, who lives in Smithville.


The new option would place one traffic circle on the Statesville Road side of the Catawba Avenue/Highway 21 intersection, and another on the Holiday Lane side. This design would eliminate the need for a multi lane routing of traffic on the Smith Street corridor, which residents feared would divide the Smithville community.

Nearby resident Michael Archer, who lives farther east on Catawba, said that there was “much to be discussed and ironed out” before a final decision is made. “Let the residents, businesses and property owners who would be most affected have an opportunity to fully vet the proposal first.”

Whatever the final design is, the intersection will ultimately handle most of the traffic generated by the new QT convenience store which will take over the old Acropolis site and a now-closed gas station next door.

Funding for this project is part of the bonus allocation funds provided to municipalities along the I77 toll lane project. However, any funds for such projects must be expended by 2020, meaning that the design and construction clock is ticking.

Meanwhile, QT sits and waits. They still plan on building a 5,700 square foot QT Convenience Store on the 3.16 acres located at the northeast corner of Catawba and Hwy. 21. Half of the 3.16 acre site will be developed for the QT building and infrastructure while the other half of the property will remain pervious.

The convenience store will be on a 45 degree angle towards the Catawba/21 intersection.

The Acropolis Greek Restaurant, a mainstay in Cornelius, closed 15 months ago. It was to be torn down, as well as the existing convenience store and two private homes on Burton Lane, to make room for the QT facility. However, no demolition has yet begun.