As one N.C. 51 road project in Matthews is winding down, another major project will begin as soon as school is out for summer break.
Since last July, motorists along N.C. 51 around the intersection at Matthews-Mint Hill Road near Butler High School have experienced delays as that stretch of N.C. 51 was converted to a superstreet.
Matthews Public Works Director C.J. O’Neill says construction on that project should be complete this month.
An extra lane has been added to N.C. 51 for northbound traffic (headed toward Mint Hill) from the intersection at Matthews-Mint Hill Road to Phillips Road, and a median installed.
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Now drivers wishing to travel towards Matthews will turn right and make a U-turn at a new bump-out just before Reid-Harkey Road. U-turns were not allowed before.
O’Neill said, once the traffic signal at N.C. 1 and Idlewild is adjusted, the traffic traveling from Matthews to Mint Hill should move more efficiently.
He said the town also is working with N.C. DOT C-DOT to install a cross-walk at the Matthews-Mint Hill/NC-51 intersection.
But, just as folks become accustomed to the quicker travel time, traffic will be interrupted again as soon as school is out for construction of a roundabout at N.C. 51 and Idlewild Roads.
N.C. DOT contractors will shut down that intersection for the summer, with traffic being detoured to surrounding streets. Construction of the roundabout should take 6-8 weeks and should be completed before school starts in late August.
Once that roundabout is complete, N.C. DOT says says construction will begin on Lawyers Road at Bain School Road to install a roundabout.
N.C. DOT Communications Officer Jordan-Ashley Walker says Lawyers Road will remain open during construction by utilizing construction phasing and lane closures with flaggers.