A new intersection that opened Monday on Brookshire Boulevard at Oakdale Road is expected to be a major improvement for safety and congestion in the northwest Charlotte corridor.
Karl Henrich has lived in the nearby Pinebrook neighborhood nearly a decade and said he believes the new intersection will make a noticeable difference.
Hopefully itll cut down on the accidents out there, and the people doing 75 mph (on Brookshire), he said.
The reconfigured intersection includes a traffic signal and other improvements city officials believe will make the congested intersection safer.
Previously, Oakdale Road drivers trying to turn left to travel into Charlotte did not have a traffic light but had to cross two lanes of outbound traffic, then wait in the median for a break in the two lanes of inbound motorists.
Residents said oncoming Brookshire Boulevard traffic traveled much faster than the posted 45 mph. Meanwhile, traffic on Oakdale could back up more than 20 vehicles during peak travel times, as motorists waited to cross.
The $6.2 million project also includes reconfiguring the nearby intersection with Hovis Road.
Located north of Interstate 85, Hovis and Oakdale roads used to join Brookshire Boulevard at skewed angles near the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities Reservoir, and with only one traffic light.
When the job is done, both intersections will have traditional 90-degree angles and each will have a traffic light. The entire project is on track to be finished in September, according to officials.
Another major improvement is moving the intersection of Oakdale and Brookshire north roughly 600 feet, separating it from Hovis.
Blythe Development is the contractor, and the job is paid for by previous transportation bonds, said Derrel Poole of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Engineering and Property Management.
In April, Poole said Charlotte Department of Transportations high accident listings reported 58 collisions at Brookshire and Oakdale in the past five years, and 16 at the intersection of Brookshire and Hovis.
Poole said he didnt have specifics on whether those numbers had changed much during the past few months of construction, but said the signal that was activated mid-day Monday will definitely make the Oakdale intersection safer.
The project is about three-quarters of the way finished, Poole said, with many of the sidewalks, bicycle lanes and wheelchair ramps already in place. Poole said work still to be finished includes improving a portion of Hovis Road, building a multi-use path and installing landscaping.
While the heavy rainfall Charlotte has seen this summer hasnt slowed down work on the project too much, Poole said, theyre not ruling out that it could still create delays. Such delays would be posted on the citys website.
Henrich is waiting to see how the finished project will look, but said the Oakdale signal that opened Monday is the best thing about it.
During his daily delivery work, Henrich said, he crosses the intersection at least four times a day and used to avoid it during morning and evening rush hours.
It doesnt matter what time of day anymore, the light will make it easier, he said. ...Cars wont be sitting (on Oakdale) for a half-mile to a mile back.
Trenda: 704-358-5089; Twitter: @htrenda
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