Charlotte will improve a stretch of Community House Road in Ballantyne over the next several months by adding two roundabouts, turn lanes and sidewalks.During a community meeting June 26 at the Morrison YMCA, Charlotte engineering project manager Joe Frey told residents about the $8 million Community House Road Farm-To-Market project, for which planning began in 2008.The project will affect Community House Road from Bryant Farms to Ardrey Kell roads.You had all of this development that happened over the years, but the roads never been upgraded, said Frey. Suddenly you have an area that is much more urban and a roadway that is still a two-lane country road.Phase one, expected to start this fall, will affect Community House Road from south of Providence Road West to Ardrey Kell Road. It will include adding turn lanes, improving pedestrian crossings and signals, building landscaped medians and completing the sidewalks on the road.Once work begins, it will take nine to 12 months to complete, said Frey. Phase two will affect Community House Road from south of Providence Road West to Bryant Farms Road.Two roundabouts will be built on Community House Road during the second phase, one at Bryant Farms Road and a smaller one at Willow Rock Drive at the entrance to the Cobblestone neighborhood.The smaller roundabout also will include a leg at the entrance to Blakeney District Park, across from Willow Rock Drive.The design for phase two is expected to be complete by fall.The 2008 and 2010 Capital Improvement Plan bonds will pay for the project. Phase one will cost $3.25 million; phase two will cost $4.75 million.Frey said the project will make it safer for residents walking and bicycling to the Morrison YMCA and three nearby schools: Hawk Ridge Elementary, Community House Middle and Ardrey Kell High.We cant wait to get started because weve been waiting too long, he said. There are kids who walk on the shoulder of the road, and thats been a concern of mine.Sue Lloyd, whose children attend Community House Middle School, said the project is money well-spent if it means school staff and students will be safer. As the school continues to have to operate under its late-hours schedule, safer roads and walkways should be a must, Lloyd said.The project was delayed for the last year because of changes to the surrounding area. For instance, Bissell Cos. of Ballantyne pushed for the construction of the Community House Bridge over Interstate 485 by fronting money to the city.Then Mecklenburg County announced it was moving up construction of Blakeney District Park with funding assistance from the Morrison YMCA.Both these projects were not expected for several years and will increase traffic on Community House Road, so planners had to revise the project, said Frey.Phase two had to be delayed so planners could update the design and secure additional land to add turn lanes and the second roundabout at Willow Rock Drive, he said.It may take three years before phase two begins, said Frey. He acknowledged it may take Ballantyne residents time to get used to the roundabouts but said it will benefit everyone in the long term.Roundabouts are more efficient than signals for intersections with certain traffic volumes, he said. Drivers also will be able to continue moving instead of waiting at a red light even though no one is coming from the other direction.Most important, he said, roundabouts are safer because they force drivers to slow to15 mph or less.There are less conflict points, said Frey. When everyone is going in the same direction, its a lot harder to have an accident.
Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013
Charlottes Community House Road to get major upgrade
Learn more: For information, visit http://bit.ly/15Gz9IZ.
Arriero: 704-804-2637; On Twitter: @earriero
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