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Cornelius News

Will Huntersville and Cornelius cooperate, and buy traffic light?

By Dave Vieser. Huntersville officials are researching the possibility of putting a traffic signal on Hwy. 73 at the intersection of Norman View Lane, which is essentially the most southwestern tippy corner of Cornelius. There’s just one problem: The state won’t pay for the signal, leaving the funding up to Cornelius and Huntersville.

Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla says he supports adding the signal, and says project discussions are in a “preliminary” phase. At their July 18 meeting, Huntersville Commissioners authorized the town to complete research on the project, after which the town will approach Cornelius about sharing the costs.

The new traffic signal would be designed to ease left turns for motorists from Hwy 73 into nearby Huntersville and Cornelius neighborhoods. The traffic in the immediate vicinity becomes heavy, especially during afternoon rush hour, making left turns a challenge, and in some instances dangerous. The fly in the ointment may be the cost, since the NCDOT will not cover the installation. “The traffic volumes there were marginal to meet signal warrants, but because of the rapid growth in the area and recognizing the logic that if a signal were installed, more traffic would come out of the Birkdale development at this location, we approved the installation of a traffic signal,” said DOT spokeswoman Jordan-Ashley Baker. That doesn’t mean they’ll pay for it.

A traffic signal could cost anywhere from $50,000 to something north of $100,000.

Another unknown factor is how such a new signal would be absorbed into future expansion plans for 73. The highway is two lanes now but is slated to become a four-lane, divided highway when it is widened some time after 2020.