Face-lift: A portion of Rea Road that looks more like a roller coaster than a travel lane is about to get a much needed face-lift.
The city of Charlotte expects to begin construction on the widening of Rea Road between Colony Road and N.C. 51 during the first half of 2012. The $22.5 million project entails adding a planted median with left turn lanes, bicycle lanes, curb and gutter as well as sidewalks on both sides of the road.
The city also plans to add a right turn lane at N.C. 51.
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One of the major goals of the project is to improve sight distance on the road to make it safer, said Mark Cole, a Charlotte Department of Transportation design section manager.
Cole said the city will raise two of the biggest dips by 12 feet, making it more level with the height of the hills on the road. He said South Charlotte residents have voiced overwhelming support for the project, which was paid for by 2008 bonds.
Federal grant: Matthews Fire and Emergency Medical Service Department has received a $54,270 grant. It will be used to replace a set of hydraulic rescue tools on one of the department's fire trucks. The town will provide a 10 percent match ($6,030). The hydraulic rescue, more familiar as the "jaws of life" tools are used to extricate people from vehicles involved in accidents. In 2009 the department responded to over 160 car accidents.
"We appreciate these grant monies... The equipment that we use every day is very expensive and wears out over time due to the number of calls we respond to, and it was time for us to replace these," said Matthews Fire and EMS Chief Dennis Green.
New camps: Since the Feb. 7 publication of the annual summer camps listings, more than 100 new camps have been added to our online database. If you're still exploring options for your child's summer activities, The Charlotte Observer's database offers more than 1,300 camps to search. You can go online and look for summer camps at www.charlotteobserver.com/living.