Transportation officials began work in early January on a Ballantyne area bridge that many residents and stakeholders hope will relieve congestion.Bissell Development is working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Lane Construction and STV/Ralph Whitehead Associates to extend North Community House Road and build the bridge.The proposed bridge would cross I-485 between Johnston and Rea roads and include bicycle lanes, two motorist lanes and sidewalks in both directions.The bridge would connect the north side of North Community House Road with the existing North Community House Road in Ballantyne.The project also includes altering the intersection at North Community House Road and Endhaven Lane and adding a traffic signal there.Bissell Development offered to pay for the bridge through a tax increment financing plan. The city of Charlotte would then refund Bissell using tax value increases that may come to the area as a result of the bridge.In all, Bissell has committed more than $11 million to area road improvements, with the bridge project representing the largest project of the roughly half-dozen projects being completed, said Bissell spokeswoman Christina Thigpen, who did not specify how much Bissell had committed to the bridge.“Once completed, North Community House Road will provide improved traffic flow while offering area residents greater alternatives for mobility,” said Clifton Coble, president of Bissell Development.Construction on the bridge began around Jan. 6. Crews now are installing erosion control measures, doing prep work to install storm drainage and working on the foundation in the median of I-485 to support the bridge, said Coble. The completion date for the bridge is expected to be in May or June, Mitchell said.“We’re not sure exactly when we would put traffic on it because there are portions of the roadway that need to be constructed as well,” he said. The entire I-485 widening project won’t be complete until December.The bridge construction was added as part of the I-485-widening project, said N.C. Department of Transportation division engineer Louis Mitchell.“We think the bridge itself brings an opportunity to relieve congestion in the Ballantyne area,” he said. “As far as congestion and pedestrian accommodations, we think it’s a plus for the area.”The North Community House bridge is one of eight bridges that transportation officials added to the I-485 widening project, Mitchell said.Paul Trotter, president of Trotter builders, donated two acres of land to help complete the bridge. He said he he is excited about the added value that the project will bring to the area.“It’s certainly going to be a major relief,” he said.
Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
Bridge work may ease congestion
Arriero: 704-804-2637; On Twitter: @earriero
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