Residents in Matthews, Stallings and Indian Trail will have a chance during a three-day summit to provide input on how they want a key corridor developed.Aug. 27-29, the N.C. Department of Transportation will host a design meeting for proposed improvements to a 6.5-miles stretch of East John Street (also known as Old Monroe Road), from Trade Street in Matthews to Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road in Indian Trail. The stretch is used by tens of thousands of commuters each day in Union And Mecklenburg counties, and serves as a main artery and gateway through three communities.The project includes plans to widen the existing two-lane road to multiple lanes and add bike and pedestrian pathways.Its still in the early stages, said Carl Gibilaro, consultant project manager. Were trying to identify what people do and dont want to see along the corridor and what we need to have in our tool box moving forward.The road project will be broken into three segments. The first segment, or Section A, will be from Trade Street to I-485. That portion, which sees about 21,000 cars a day, will cost an estimated $17.5 million.Section B runs from I-485 to Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road and sees 20,000 cars daily. Construction costs for that will be $38 million.And Section C starts at Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road and ends at Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road. That part sees 16,000 cars daily and will cost $31 million.Kim Bereis, consultant deputy project manager, said a key component to the project will be making sure the corridor is consistent as it transitions from Matthews to Stallings.Hopefully we can go forward with a unified message, said Elmo Vance, project development engineer from the state Department of Transportation. Hopefully, we can walk together in harmony so we can all appreciate it.Officials said some themes already have emerged.Its clear that folks dont want something like a U.S. 74, said Gibilaro. They want something thats more laid back. They are not looking for a high-speed facility, just something that will improve their travel throughout the different towns.Jen Thompson, spokeswoman for N.C. DOT, said Section B is likely to start construction first since that is the only part that is currently funded.In 2011, Indian Trail residents approved a $10 million bond to help fund Section B. Town staff are talking with transportation officials to use part of that money to help fund Section C. After the 3-day summit, transportation officials will update their plans for the road and return in the fall for another public workshop.Gibilaro said he expects the environmental assessment to wrap up in February 2014. After that, the project will have its official public hearing.He estimated that officials could start the design and construction phase for Section B in fall 2014, with acquiring right of way beginning around 2015.Even so, construction may not start until 2018. And Sections A and C are still years away, Thompson said.That timeline may change given the Strategic Mobility Formula, which was signed into law on June 26. Its the states newest way of funding and prioritizing transportation projects, Thompson said.Under the formula, which is driven by data and public input, all modes of transportation compete for the same funding. This project could be reprioritized, Thompson said. It could be pushed further back or accelerated.Joe Fivas, Indian Trails town manager, said because of the new formula, its going to be more important than ever for residents to attend the summit and show how important this road improvement is.He described how it often takes residents upwards of 45 minutes to travel the short distance from I-485 to Indian Trail because of bumper-to-bumper traffic. This is probably the number one transportation issue in our community, he said. I think its critical for residents to talk directly with N.C. DOT about how important the road is for our area.
Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
Speak up: Public session set for Matthews road plan
Want to Attend? The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold meetings Aug. 27-29 at South Piedmont Community College, 4209 Old Charlotte Highway in Monroe. Aug. 27: • 12:30-2 p.m.: Corridor Aesthetics • 2:30-4 p.m.: Business/Landowner Concerns • 6-8 p.m.: Representatives from N.C. DOT and consultant Atkins Global will present an overview of the project. A workshop will follow, where attendees will work in small groups to identify areas of interest along the corridor. Aug. 28: • 9-10 a.m.: Location of Improvements • 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Typical Sections (What Will the Road Look Like?) • 1-2 p.m.: Access Management • 4:30-6 p.m.: Community/Neighborhood Concerns • 7-8 p.m.: The public can attend a pin-up review, where the project team will share concepts and ideas generated from the small -roup workshop and topic group meetings. Residents and stakeholders can offer feedback. Aug. 29: • 9-10 a.m.: Local Government Roundtable • 6-8 p.m.: The project team will summarize activities, concepts and recommendations gathered over the course of the meeting in a closing presentation. Staff members also will explain the next steps in the project process.
Arriero: 704-358-5945; On Twitter: @earriero
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