N.C. 51 ‘superstreet’ project to begin

Weather permitting, work will begin next week on a “superstreet” project along N.C. 51 near Butler High School that’s designed to improve traffic flow.

The N.C. Department of Transportation last month awarded an $823,663 contract to J.T. Russell and Sons Inc. of Albemarle to build the superstreet on N.C. 51 between Matthews-Mint Hill Road and Phillips Road.

Completion is scheduled for mid-October, with the town of Matthews contributing $279,500, Matthews spokeswoman Jen Thompson said Thursday in announcing the work.

Superstreet intersections aim to improve safety by restricting side street traffic from straight or left-turn movements at divided highway intersections.

When approaching from a side street, motorists will turn right and proceed to the next intersection, making a U-turn to go in the opposite direction.

When the project is finished, motorists approaching N.C. 51 from Swaim Drive or Brandywine Drive will be restricted to right turns, then making a U-turn at a designated location to go in the opposite direction. The project also will extend a second eastbound lane on N.C. 51 to Phillips Road.

The contractor can close lanes on N.C. 51 and Phillips Road between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays, Thompson said.

No lane closures will be permitted over Labor Day weekend, from 6 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4 until 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Some night paving may be scheduled, but the contractor will work to limit those operations as much as possible, Thompson said.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak