Lake Norman & Mooresville

Nearly $10 million in Cornelius bond projects on the way

Several projects funded with the more than $20 million in bonds approved by Cornelius voters in 2013 are underway, with others scheduled to begin by 2017.

Cornelius Town Manager Anthony Roberts provided an update July 23 to the Town Board on 10 projects that will use nearly half of the 2013 bonds.

Here is a look at those projects:

▪ A $2.3 million project to connect Gem and Oak streets, behind the Oak Street Mill; and extend Hickory Street across N.C. 115 (Main Street) to Lovers Lawn Terrace in the Antiquity subdivision. Left turn lanes also will be added in both directions on N.C. 115 at Hickory Street.

The project adds a crucial east-west alternative for the highly traveled Catawba Avenue in the downtown area. Design work began in January, and right-of-way acquisition is expected in October, with construction projected to begin next summer.

▪ $1.75 million to connect Smith Circle to Smithville Lane and connect South Hill Street to U.S. 21.

South Hill Street now ends at Catawba Avenue. The project creates a continuous loop that could take traffic off Catawba Avenue. A state-funded project is planned to convert the U.S. 21-Catawba Avenue intersection to a roundabout.

Design work began last November. Right-of-way acquisition is planned for October, with construction starting next summer just east of the newly reconfigured overpass at Exit 28 on I-77. Traffic backups from that project lead to citizen protests to town and state officials.

▪ $900,000 to add turn lanes on all four approaches to the intersection of the often-congested intersection of N.C. 115 and Bailey Road.

School traffic from nearby Hough High and Bailey Middle schools lead to regular backups, which can be worse when trains on the Norfolk Southern line cross Bailey Road just a few car lengths from the intersection. Right-of-way acquisition is planned for September, and construction is expected to begin late next spring.

Roberts said the town’s goal is to have the work completed by the time school starts in August of 2016.

Parks

▪ $1.25 million to improve baseball fields and basketball courts, and add a restroom building at Cornelius Elementary Neighborhood Park. Projected completion: August of 2016.

▪ $430,000 to renovate restrooms at Smithville, Torrence Chapel, Legion and Bailey Road parks. Projected completion: September.

▪ $165,000 to resurface three tennis courts and two basketball courts in Bailey Road Park. Projected completion: November.

▪ $150,000 to add an exit drive from the soccer parking lot, add 20 new parking spaces and repave pedestrian trails at Bailey Road Park. Projected completion: August.

Greenways

▪ $1.45 million for the 1.6-mile second phase of the McDowell Creek Greenway, which will run from Westmoreland Road to Catawba Avenue. The existing section runs from N.C. 73 to Westmorland Road. Projected completion: May of 2017.

▪ $900,000 to add a 0.6-mile trail in Antiquity from downtown to the existing South Prong Greenway through Davidson. Projected completion: September 2016.

▪ $640,000 for the half-mile South Bailey Road Greenway, from Hough High School to the South Prong Greenway. Projected completion: August 2016.

John Deem is a freelance writer: john.deem@outlook.com.

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