N.C. Department of Transportation engineer sheds light on local road projects
Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013

N.C. Department of Transportation engineer sheds light on local road projects

N.C. Department of Transportation engineer Louis Mitchell says public input is important when road projects are being considered.

“Transportation is vital in every phase of our lives, and your input is drastically needed,” Mitchell said. “We want to provide transportation solutions to what the neighbors want.”

Mitchell is N.C.DOT’s engineer for Division 10, which includes Mecklenburg County.

Speaking at the recent Matthews Business Summit, Mitchell updated a group of Matthews business leaders on road construction projects in the area.

Several audience members asked him about South Trade Street in Matthews, a state-maintained road Matthews recently committed to widening because the state didn’t have the money.

Instead of widening from Fullwood to Pleasant Plains Road as originally proposed, the Town Board stopped the project just before Four Mile Creek because of the expense of crossing the culvert. The board had hoped to obtain state money to complete the project.

While Mitchell didn’t make a firm commitment, he did offer hope of assistance. “We think, ultimately, that it makes sense for the entire stretch to be widened,” Mitchell said.

When asked about the status of improvements to Lawyers Road for the proposed Bridges at Mint Hill shopping complex, Mitchell said a public/private agreement is in the works.

“We are close to signing an agreement to partner with the town of Mint Hill and the proposed developers,” Mitchell said.

Though the economy over the past few years has been tough for many, Mitchell said, it has allowed N.C.DOT to build at a lower cost.

“In the past two years, we’ve been really fortunate. Bids have come in favorably,” Mitchell said. “Now (that) the economy is improving, that may not always be the case.”

Melinda Johnston is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Melinda? Email her at m.johnston@carolina.rr.com.

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