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Cornelius News

West Catawba: Delays ahead

Oct. 18. By Dave Vieser. At the pre-agenda meeting of the Cornelius Town Board Monday, NCDOT provided commissioners with an update on the status of local projects. Mayor Woody Washam said this type of information can often cause heartburn.

He was right.

As reported by Cornelius Today a week ago, there are major snags in the $52 million widening of West Catawba between Jetton and Sam Furr. In fact, a 2029 time frame remains firm at this time, according to Sean Epperson, NCDOT District 10 project developer.

“Appraisals are now taking twice the time they were, and land values have increased significantly in the past year. This slows down the entire process,” he explained.

If the state has to condemn property, the costs are running as much as five times appraisal values, adding even more costs to the project. Relocation of utilities can run anywhere from 6 to 24 months, with electric lines first followed by other telecommunication utilities.

“It’s a very lengthy process, and much longer now than just a few years ago,” Epperson said.

Hickory Street and Main Street

The let date for construction is now set for 2024. Epperson said the project is quite complex involving many utilities at the site, both above and below ground. Commissioner Denis Bilodeau urged the NCDOT to expedite the work as much as possible due to the Cain Center opening downtown this winter.

In other action

The commissioners approved a $725,555 contract with Musco Lighting of Alabama to install new lights at two soccer fields and one football field at Bailey Road Park.