South Charlotte

Breakfast Club’s focus is development, roads

Warren Cooksey
Warren Cooksey

State and local transportation officials updated the Ballantyne community on key road projects this month, offering details about some projects that will help alleviate traffic congestion.

The June meeting of the Ballantyne Breakfast Club, which has met regularly since 2001, also featured updates on Waverly and Rea Farms, two large mixed-use developments under construction at the intersection of Providence and Ardrey Kell roads.

More than 100 people attended the June 11 meeting at the Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge.

Ray Eschert, founder of the Ballantyne Breakfast Club, said transportation is increasingly an issue in Ballantyne as the area is becoming “more and more a bottleneck.”

Members of the community were invited to ask questions.

Questions were asked about issues ranging from the safety of children crossing Ballantyne roads as they go to school to traffic from South Carolina adding to the area’s congestion.

Here are some highlights of the meeting:

▪ Representatives from Waverly and Rea Farms talked about the progress of office, retail and residential construction on their developments.

Tracy Dodson, a vice president with Rea Farms developer Lincoln Harris, said developers of both sites are contributing about $15 million to “off-site improvements,” including adding lanes to Ardrey Kell and Providence roads around the developments.

Later in the meeting, an audience member asked transportation officials whether there were plans to widen Ardrey Kell Road between Providence and Rea roads.

Warren Cooksey, N.C. DOT District 10 director of outreach and community affairs, said that no plan had been submitted for widening that section, and 2017 would be the next opening for submitting a new project.

Officials added that funding for transportation projects usually is allocated years in advance of construction.

▪ Transportation officials urged members of the community to participate in the upcoming public comments period later this year that will focus on road projects in the Ballantyne area.

Public input, which can be submitted at meetings, online or in the mail, will help officials prioritize projects.

Some road widening projects under consideration include:

▪ Lancaster Highway between N.C. 51 and U.S. 521.

▪ Ardrey Kell Road between Rea Road and U.S. 521.

▪ Ballantyne Commons Parkway between Annalexa Lane and Williams Pond Lane.

▪ Cooksey said construction on toll lanes on a stretch of I-485 in South Charlotte has been delayed.

The project recently was combined with a plan for an interchange at I-485 and Weddington Road, and now the projects will be designed together.

An express toll lane will be added in each direction from Interstate 77 to U.S. 74.

Cooksey said residents could expect to drive on the toll lanes and the Weddington Road interchange around 2020 or 2021, a few years behind transportation officials’ original schedule.

Marty Minchin is a freelance reporter: martyminchin@gmail.com.

Learn more

For information about the Ballantyne Breakfast Club, visit www.ballantynebreakfastclub.com. The meetings are open to the community, and the next meeting will be in August.

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