A series of road and sidewalk projects are moving ahead in Mooresville, as the town starts using $20 million in bond money for transportation improvements.
Planned for the part of town east of Interstate 77, the four projects will add turn lanes at busy intersections and sidewalks near Mooresville Middle School, to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.
They are among other such projects the town plans to carry out in coming years as it moves to address lingering transportation issues, some of which have remained “known problems for several years,” said Kelsie Anderson, the town’s transportation engineer and one of three officials overseeing the projects.
She cited two intersections along N.C. 150 north of downtown, at N.C. 115 and N.C. 801, saying traffic congestion there is common.
The four projects are in the design phase, and the town could start acquiring rights-of-way come fall, she said.
Two of them are scheduled for completion in the summer of 2016 – one to build new sidewalks along Kistler Farm and Briarcliff roads, as well as Bellingham Drive and White Oaks Road; and the other left- and right-turn lanes at the intersection of N.C. 150 and N.C. 801.
The remaining two – turn lanes at the intersections of N.C. 115 and N.C. 150, and N.C. 115 and Faith Road, in Mount Mourne, which the town also plans to realign – are scheduled to finish in the summer of 2017.
Estimated to cost a total of about $5.7 million, the town will pay only a fraction of that, as it will receive up to $4.4 million in reimbursements from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program. The U.S. Department of Transportation program offers funding to transportation agencies and metropolitan planning organizations for projects that would reduce tailpipe emissions.
The town’s share, a total of about $1.3 million, will come from the $20 million general obligation bond voters overwhelmingly approved last year.
A significant amount of money for the projects, some $2 million, was initially reserved for two other road projects. But commissioners decided in May to redirect the federal money, also from the CMAQ. The town is awaiting approval for the reallocation.
Most of that money, about $1.8 million, would have gone toward building long-discussed bike lanes along N.C. 115 that would have stretched from downtown to the Mecklenburg County line. The remaining amount was for a turn lane at the intersection of Talbert Road and N.C. 150, just east of I-77 at Exit 36.
Nonetheless, the town intends to eventually build a bike lane along N.C. 115, Anderson said. She noted that while it has yet to draw up a plan, it is “pursuing some preliminary ideas for how to get this work done.”
The projects are among several the the town has identified as part of a comprehensive plan it adopted in 2008 that will guide transportation improvements over the next several years. “We always have a to-do list,” Anderson said.
Some of them are planned for the western part of town.
Although the infrastructure there is generally newer than that in its eastern section, the improvements are partly meant to improve access to areas across Lake Norman.
“Enhancing the infrastructure we have in place now is strategic” for Mooresville, said Tim Brown, senior planner for the town.
Jake Flannick is a freelance writer. Have a story for Jake? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For info about the road and sidewalk projects the town has planned during the next two years, go to www.ci.mooresville.nc.us/215/Town-Projects.