Lake Norman & Mooresville

Mooresville connector would ease access

Mooresville plans to build a four-lane connector in coming years that will lead through undeveloped land to further relieve congestion on local roads.

The connector would be about three quarters of a mile long, running from the traffic light at Mazeppa Road and N.C. 115 to the light at Cornelius Road and U.S. 21.

It would improve access to Interstate 77 for 18-wheelers driving to and from industries in the South Iredell Industrial Park on Mazeppa Road, said Ryan Rase, Mooresville's executive director of public services and operations.

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners took the first step toward making the connector a reality on Sept. 6, when it unanimously approved spending up to $206,500 for roadway consultant WSP Sells to design the connector.

It could take two or three years for the road to be constructed, Rase said, and no cost estimate has been established.

Right of way will have to be acquired before construction could start, he said. The connector would not claim any homes, he said.

Most trucks going to and from such industries as NGK Ceramics in the park use I-77 Exit 42 near Troutman because only two traffic lights are between that interchange and the park, Rase said.

Getting from the park to Mooresville Exit 36 involves going through 10 or 11 traffic signals, many of them on clogged N.C. 150.

With the connector, trucks would go through only two traffic signals south to I-77 Exit 33, Rase said.

It would be even quicker for them to get to the future Exit 38 at Cornelius Road, if that interchange is built someday, Rase said.

"Businesses in the industrial park are 100 percent behind this," Rase told the town commissioners Sept. 6.

The connector would be two lanes at first, then would be expanded to four lanes, Rase said.

Said commissioner Chris Carney, "We're going to spend the money of Mooresville to repay the companies that made Mooresville their home and (show) that we appreciate their decision to make the town their home."