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Cornelius News

Roundabouts on Hwy. 21 will be completed in Winter 2027

Roundabouts on Hwy. 21

Dec. 1. By Dave Vieser. Work will finally begin inMarch on two new roundabouts at the Catawba Avenue/Hwy. 21 intersection just east of I-77. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has awarded a $14.6 million contract to the Caton Construction Group of Charlottesville, Va. to perform the work.

When the traffic circles are completed, left turns from Catawba onto Hwy. 21/Statesville Road will be eliminated, said DOT Spokeswoman Jen Goodwin.

The area is highly congested because of its proximity to I-77.

Plans currently call for two roundabouts to be built on 21: One just north of the Catawba Avenue intersection, near the QT convenience store and the second traffic circle south of the intersection just beyond the Mecklenburg ABC Store.

Under the current construction timetable, work on the project will begin in March 2024 and be completed by the winter of 2027.

How will motorists make left turns

Per NCDOT, once the traffic circles are in service, a driver who wants to turn left from Catawba Avenue to U21 would make a right turn and then a U-turn in one of the roundabouts to head straight through Catawba Avenue to 21.

Were different improvements considered?

Very much so, as the debate continued for years regarding what would be the best means to permit traffic to flow more smoothly through the area. One possibility was a “jug handle” type of intersection somewhat similar to the intersection off highways 73 and 21 in Huntersville. However, none of these were greeted favorably by local residents nor would they have achieved the improved traffic flow envisioned with the dual traffic circles/roundabouts.