The Sam’s Club that plans to open in Mooresville by year’s end will usher in major road improvements to the intersection of N.C. 150, Ervin Road and Morrison Plantation Parkway, town and state officials said.Construction of the 136,000-square-foot Sam’s Club began recently on Ervin Road off N.C. 150 West. The store will face Ervin Road behind Lone Star Steakhouse and the Five Guys Burger and Fries retail strip that faces N.C. 150.A Charlotte developer, meanwhile, has started construction of a 260-unit apartment complex across Ervin from Sam’s Club. The first units in the Piedmont Pointe Apartments could open in the fall, developer John Porter of Charter Properties said. The site also includes 20,000 square feet that could accommodate a small retail center.Porter, however, said he has no specific plans for the extra land and will probably wait for Sam’s Club to open before determining what to put on the parcel.Steve Bridges, assistant district engineer for the N.C. Department of Transportation in Statesville, said all of the planned road improvements could be finished by year’s end, weather permitting. Improvements will include:• Left and right turn lanes off Ervin and a through lane. Ervin now has only one lane in each direction.• A left-turn lane off N.C. 150 eastbound that will steer traffic to both the QT convenience store that recently opened at Ervin and N.C. 150, and onto Ervin Road, Bridges said.• Extending the existing second N.C. 150 westbound lane to Ervin Road-Morrison Plantation Parkway and then past that intersection to Point Blank Range, an indoor firearms range on N.C. 150 West, Bridges said.Porter said his firm and Quik Trip Corp. contributed money for Sam’s Club to do the improvements. Sam’s Club will have a contractor do the work, Bridges said. The total cost of the work was unavailable last week.• The state, meanwhile, will pay to add two lanes to northbound Morrison Plantation Parkway, which is now two lanes in either direction. Northbound Morrison Plantation Parkway will have two lanes turning left onto N.C. 150 West, one through lane that will cross N.C. 150 onto Ervin Road and a right turn lane onto N.C. 150 eastbound, Mooresville Transportation Planner Neil Burke said.. Bridges said Morrison Plantation Parkway needed the improvements regardless of whether Sam’s Club came to town. Traffic at times backs up for several light cycles in the left lane that steers vehicles onto N.C. 150 westbound.The Morrison Plantation Parkway improvements will cost up to $200,000, Bridges said.Sam’s Club got the go-ahead for its store when the Mooresville Board of Commissioners on June 4 approved a rezoning for Sam’s Real Estate Business Trust, a Wal-Mart subsidiary based in Bentonville, Ark. The trust sought the rezoning on just 0.24 acres, where it needs its 18-wheelers to turn around at the rear of its proposed building. Playground equipmentA Shelby company will install playground equipment at Mooresville’s Academy Street Park, including two slides, a climbing wall, swings and a safer play surface.The Mooresville Board of Commissioners on March 4 unanimously approved awarding a $49,112 contract to Playground Safety Services Inc. for the improved equipment.The town also is creating a dog park at Academy Street Park. The Mooresville Streets Department, meanwhile, intends to improve the park’s existing basketball court surface and sidewalks at the park.Toll lanes A representative of global transportation consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff will provide information on toll lanes during a meeting of the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission in Mooresville at 7 p.m. March 13 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N. Main St. Town Manager Erskine Smith said the meeting is scheduled for the Citizen Center in hopes of drawing more residents to learn about the lanes.The state intends to select a private consortium in August to design, build, operate and maintain Interstate 77 toll lanes from the Brookshire Freeway in Charlotte to Exit 36 in Mooresville.Construction is scheduled to begin in summer 2014, with some segments opening in 2016. The lanes would be the first privately operated toll lanes in North Carolina, and the contract would be for 50 years. The project calls for adding two toll lanes on northbound and southbound I-77 between the Brookshire Freeway and Exit 28 in Cornelius. Cars with at least three occupants will be able to use the lanes for free. One toll lane in each direction would continue between Exit 28 and Exit 36. Christ the King HighOn a recent visit to the construction site of Christ the King High School on N.C. 73 in Kannapolis, Bishop Peter Jugis of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte prayed for the safety of the school’s construction workers and for the students who will move to the school in August, the Catholic News Herald reported.Jugis blessed several religious medals that will be interred in the concrete foundation of the school, the paper reported.The 100-acre site is at 10860 Davidson Highway (N.C. 73) in Cabarrus County, near Poplar Tent Road just outside of Huntersville. The school operates in a temporary facility on N.C. 150 East in Mooresville.