At a special meeting last week, Matthews commissioners informally agreed to move forward with the widening of South Trade Street.Four commissioners and the mayor said yes to the project in an informal poll. That group is Nancy Moore, Jeff Miller, Suzanne Gulley, Paul Bailey, and Mayor Jim Taylor; Commissioner Kress Query was against moving forward with the project, and Commissioner John Urban was out of town. Commissioners are expected to take a formal vote on the South Trade Street widening project at their 7 p.m. meeting June 24 at Matthews Town Hall. The original plan called for the road to be widened from two to four lanes from Fullwood Lane to the Pleasant Plains/Weddington Road intersection at a cost of about $7.2 million.Commissioners voted instead on a modified version that ends the four lanes just before Four Mile Creek and costs less. Not crossing the creek means the culvert doesn’t have to be replaced; that version is estimated to cost about $5.2 million. South Trade Street is a commuter route for many drivers who live along the Mecklenburg-Union county border in that area. The Fullwood intersection would still be improved as part of the modified project, and the three traffic signals along that stretch would be coordinated to help traffic move more efficiently. The “Courtney Connector” would also be constructed – a road connecting the Courtney neighborhood to the signal at the Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association fields, making access to the neighborhood easier. The project would be funded by the sale of $5.5 million in road bonds approved by Matthews voters in 2004. Taylor said that, even though he’d like to see the entire project done, he’s pleased with the pending compromise. “I think it’s a good compromise for the town. If things get going, there’s nothing to prevent a future board from going across the culvert. And we will still look at other financing options. We’ll exhaust all possibilities, I guarantee you,” Taylor said.
Friday, Jun. 21, 2013
Matthews close to road vote
Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Melinda? Email her at email@example.com.
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