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Cornelius News

Traffic planning at Hwy. 21 and Catawba stalls out

Oct. 11. By Dave Vieser. The plan for dual roundabouts north and south of Catawba Avenue at Highway 21 in Cornelius continues to misfire with some residents and local businesses.

Former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot came to the Cornelius Town Board meeting to express concerns from the owners of the Bexley Apartments which he represents. Officials from QuikTrip, which purchased the old Acropolis site, said NCDOT is “going with the worse option that could potentially bring more traffic deeper into Smithville.”

The twin roundabouts currently being considered by the state DOT to handle traffic at the busy intersection.  QuikTrip, known as QT, has pumped $3.8 million into the site which includes an old, now-closed gas station on the corner of Burton Lane and Catawba.

Former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot came to the Cornelius Town Board meeting

“I feel this configuration will destroy businesses in the immediate area, including Cashions’ Convenience Store,” Vinroot said, explaining that the residents who live in Bexley are deeply concerned.

The dual roundabout configuration emerged after some Smithville residents took exception to the quad left proposal previously planned which would have required eastbound motorists seeking to turn left from Catawba to navigate a circle similar to the traffic for eastbound motorists on Hwy. 73 at Hwy. 21 in Huntersville.

Gordon Cashion, owner of the Cashion’s Quik Stop at the southwest corner, has previously voiced his concerns about the dualroundabouts stating that potential customers would find other stores to use, essentially putting him out of business.

Competing with QT would be just fine—the traffic plan is a non-starter for both.

“Let it be know that we are not undeveloped by choice, but force,” Morin said, stating that the road redesign has change three times—from a modified roundabout, to a quad design and now the dual roundabouts.

“We feel that our company has gone above and beyond the normal process in this instance,” she said. “If approved, this new design will have a drastic effect on the business owners.”

Town Manager Andrew Grant said he was “a bit surprised in the nature of Paulette’s comments. During this entire process, the town has remained in constant contact with QT’s development representatives.”