you're reading...

Cornelius News

Noise walls: No dark sarcasm, please

May 6. By Dave Vieser. Curious about those noise walls going up on I-77 in Cornelius? Well, here’s the scoop. The Town Board some years back decided to ask NCDOT for a fancier design than the standard noise wall.

The fancier noise walls cost an additional $294,700 but the town didn’t have to foot the bill. The cost came out of the “aesthetic improvement funds” provided for the project by Cintra, the Spanish contractor handling the toll lanes.

All in all, it’s painted bricks in a wall*

There are multiple stretches of noise-abating walls in the $650 million toll lane project.

North Carolina contracted with a U.S. subsidiary of Cintra to design, build and then manage toll lanes on I-77 for 50 years. The contractor financed the bulk of the project; it will be repaid with tolls it collects from drivers using the new lanes.

“Our request included red brick color rolled onto the brick, leaving the spaces between the bricks unpainted,” said Deputy Town Manager Wayne Herron. “Both sides of these walls have roughly 12 percent of the bricks painted, so as to produce a random flashing pattern.”


That said, the town will be responsible for maintaining the painted effect of the noise walls. The cost of repainting—borne by the town—will be in the $20,000 range, but that won’t happen for years to come.

Also at Monday’s meeting the commissioners:

—Gave an informal OK for a 20 percent rate hike for Electricities customers, spread out over four years starting in 2022. The hike is needed to address major deferred maintenance on the town’s oldest electric utility.

—Received a report from Town Manager Andrew Grant indicating that the town will have to absorb a $1.6 million hit from the impact of the pandemic. Grant said that the town was working to cut discretionary costs where possible. The town also has over $19 million in reserves should they be needed.

—Proclaimed May as National Bike Month in Cornelius, with several of the commissioners noting that they had never seen so many people riding bikes since the pandemic set in.

*So what’s with the ‘dark sarcasm’ in the headline?

Thank you Pink Floyd for the classic “Another Brick in the Wall.”

We don’t need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave those kids alone
Hey teachers, leave those kids alone
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall