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Cornelius News

The creation of a traffic mast takes time

Graphic by Jason Benavides

July 22. By Dave Yochum. When a dump truck with its bed still in the raised position struck a traffic light at West Catawba and Jetton Road last year, it was a moment in Cornelius transportation history. The big Kenworth driven by a Concord man bent the mast or pole that holds up the arm and traffic light.

Bent outta shape

The NC Dept. of Transportation closed Jetton between West Catawba and Jack’s Corner Tap for a week to inspect the damage and replace the pole—with a wooden pole that didn’t match the rest of the custom-colored masts on up to Torrence Chapel.

COVID-19 time flies but that was 15 months ago and there’s still not a solid timeline for the replacement.

These things take time

It turns out every mast arm along the West Catawba corridor is different—a work of art, if you will.

“There aren’t really any standard sizes for mast arms…based on width of the road, where the foundation is, number of signals and signs on the mast arm,” said Tyler Beardsley, assistant town manager.

Approvals from NCDOT’s financial division took longer than originally expected.

As of March, the NCDOT had ordered the new mast arm.

The local NCDOT Division does not have a timeframe for when it will be delivered.

“We’re going to have our contractor put it up the minute it comes,” Beardsley said.

Graphic by Jason Benavides and a tip of the hat to Michelangelo