HUNTERSVILLE – A wider N.C. 73 between Northcross Drive and N.C. 16 is on the horizon. It is the western segment of a funded and approved North Carolina Department of Transportation project to improve N.C. 73, with right of way acquisition planned in 2020 and construction scheduled to begin in 2022.
But there are unknowns about the project, and the town board wants more details about them.
At the board’s Nov. 5 meeting (with commissioners Danny Phillips and Brian Hines recused because they own property along the N.C. 73 corridor, and with Commissioner Dan Boone absent) the remaining three board members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution seeking more data.
Specifically, the resolution lists requests with the primary objective of asking NCDOT to prove the recommended “superstreet” concept – restricting full movements at most intersections – is the right fit.
In summarizing the item for the audience, Mayor John Aneralla said town officials want NCDOT to confirm anticipated improvements in traffic flow will be significant enough to justify disruptions the proposed intersection changes could cause for residents and business owners.
The resolution followed a letter Bill Coxe, the town’s transportation planner, sent in mid-October to NCDOT’s Wilson Stroud, a member of the N.C. 73 project management team. Items listed in Coxe’s letter, like those in the resolution, were compiled from concerns shared by elected officials and area residents.
Stroud, who said the goal is to finalize the concept for N.C. 73 before the end of the year, said he planned to provide a response. And he added that finding the right mix of improved service while causing the fewest problems is a NCDOT goal.
“The primary objective is to address congestion and enhance traffic flow,” Stroud said. “But we also keep in mind the importance of limiting the impact, on the environment and the community.”
Stroud said planners initially looked at prospects for full movement at some intersections and determined “that was not the most efficient way to deal with the traffic.” But he said NCDOT would continue to work toward a final plan with Huntersville and other local-level governments with stakes in the project.