Retired General Electric manager Bill Nagel believes he has a solution to the longstanding, 2 1/2-mile traffic tie-ups at N.C. 150 and Doolie Road in Lake Norman, and he hopes other residents will join his call for state and local government action.
Nagel's remedy is to revive plans for a two-lane road that would travel east from Doolie to the Morrison Plantation subdivision.
The path is already a gravel road part of the way, and the balance would be relatively easy to build, he said.
"The new road would be only 2,000 feet (0.4 miles) of two-lane blacktop road from Doolie to Morrison Plantation's existing public two-lane highway," he said. He estimates the project would cost about $600,000.
Nagel knows the road would meet resistance from Morrison Plantation and other residents affected. But he said public safety is at risk if nothing is done about the N.C. 150 traffic snarls. Government should exercise its right of eminent domain to claim parcels for the new road, he said.
Eight years of inaction is long enough, Nagel said, referring to the time since Lake Norman High School was built on Doolie Road.
N.C. 150 traffic backs up at least 2 1/2 miles west from the light at Doolie Road many mornings and afternoons, he said, raising concerns over the ability to evacuate in a crisis. Nagel lives off Kiser Island Road in Terrell.
N.C. 150 is designated as a "strategic highway" by the state, he said, and is the only route east and west over the Catawba River for 20 miles north and south. "Consequences would be devastating," Nagel said in a recent letter to the Observer and other newspapers.
Traffic on the new road to Morrison Plantation could more easily get traffic to such major arteries as Williamson and Brawley School roads and ultimately Interstate 77, Nagel said.
"Logic supporting the alternative exit from Doolie to Williamson and Brawley School roads makes even more sense now that Williamson and Brawley have been widened and the new I-77 exit off Brawley School Road will be completed next year," Nagel wrote.
One possible route for the new road would go from Doolie Road to Lineberger Road, which is gravel and private, with a no-trespassing sign posted, to a new stretch of road leading to the end of Plantation Ridge Drive, a two-lane divided road in Morrison Plantation.
Or, Nagel said, the new road could go from Doolie well north of Lineberger Road to Kendra Drive and then to Plantation Ridge Drive.
In 2007, the Mooresville Board of Commissioners adopted a Comprehensive Transportation Plan that recommends a new road network from the end of Plantation Ridge Drive ultimately to Doolie, Mooresville Transportation Planner Neil Burke said. The N.C. Board of Transportation approved the plan in 2008, Burke said.
Building the road is in part a question of funding, Burke said, and would likely hinge on more development happening in the Kendra Drive area, Burke said. Kendra leads off N.C. 150, east of Doolie Road. "Right now. it's just a line on a map," he said.
Nagel said it's time to change that. He urges residents to contact the Iredell-Statesville Schools, N.C. Department of Transportation and local elected officials to get the road built.
Developer to market Ashlynn site
MOORESVILLE The Mooresville Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning last week that will enable a Georgia developer to market the 20-acre, bank-owned former Ashlynn townhomes site for such uses as offices and small neighborhood businesses.
The property fronts U.S. 21 and Waterlynn Road north of Interstate 77 Exit 33 and was previously rezoned for the townhome community. Due to the economy, the project was never completed, although some streets were built.
Davis Development of Stockbridge, Ga., is marketing the site for property owner Wells Fargo.
Mooresville OKs community garden
MOORESVILLE The Mooresville Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a license agreement last week giving the Rotary Club of Top of the Lake permission to plant a community garden on town-owned land at Cascade and Williams streets in the Cascade community.
The town will provide at least two water connections on the property.