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W. Catawba congestion intensifies with construction

June 21. By Dave Vieser. If you’ve sensed that traffic congestion on West Catawba Ave has been worse lately, you’re right. A combination of factors has added to the usual daytime traffic volume, highlighted by the lack of vehicle sensors at the Jetton Road intersection.

Here’s the scoop:

1. Traffic signal at Jetton Road: as reported in Cornelius Today, the traffic sensors for this signal had to be disconnected and/or replaced due to the rebuilding of Jetton Road Extension. This road work is now done, and the sensors have been replaced and should be working again, although recent observations suggest otherwise. We’ve especially noticed that the signal for vehicles turning left onto Jetton from northbound Catawba was short cycling, causing major backups onto Catawba. This signal is maintained by the DOT but we asked Town Assistant Manager Tyler Beardsley what the story was. “I will send this information to the DOT today and ask them to check the timing on that signal right away,” Beardsley said.

Tyler Beardsley

2. Construction: As motorists have noticed, work is well under way on several projects between Jetton and Westmoreland, and trucks are frequently delaying traffic as they await their chance to make turns into and out of the construction sites. This has added to delays.

3. Lack of left-turn lanes: There are very few left-turn lanes in this area, so when a motorist seeks to make a left turn where there is no turning lane, that can cause congestion too. A suggestion from the traffic experts: Plan trips that avoid left turns if you can. Long term solution: Widening of Catawba, which unfortunately is many years away.