South Charlotte

Matthews to get key road funds

The N.C. Department of Transportation recently released its draft Transportation Improvement Plan, and the document shows Matthews is slated for several new road projects in the next few years.

The TIP allocates $1.3 million for the widening of South Trade Street from the bridge just past the Matthews Athletic and Recreation Association complex to Weddington Road, beginning in 2016.

Through the sale of $5.5 million in local transportation bonds, approved by voters in 2004, Matthews already is funding the widening of South Trade from the Fullwood intersection to just before the bridge.

When complete, South Trade Street will be four lanes from the intersection of Weddington/Pleasant Plains Roads to just past Fullwood Lane.

Two other major projects, to be built next summer, will make traveling on N.C. 51 a little easier.

The TIP allocates $657,000 for a super-street intersection near Butler High School. Matthews will kick in an additional $160,754. Matthews Township Parkway/N.C. 51 will be redesigned from the intersection near Butler High School to Phillips Road.

The super-street section will add an additional lane to Phillips Road and provide a large paved area for U-turns between Brandywine Lane and Reid Harkey Road.

A 10-foot wide multi-use path will be included on the east side of N.C. 51.

The plan also allocates $1.625 million to build a roundabout at the intersection of N.C. 51 and Idlewild Road. Matthews and Mint Hill each have committed $162,500 to the project.

Those two projects are planned for summer to avoid interfering with school traffic.

The TIP also budgets $2 million for the realignment of Campus Ridge Road in 2015 to connect with John Street. Matthews is contributing $400,000, or 20 percent, of the project cost.

The project is the first phase in the McKee Road extension project that, when complete, will connect John Street to Pleasant Plains Road.