CORNELIUS – “Every town dollar gets us approximately $4 from NCDOT.” It’s a sentence Town Manager Andrew Grant and other Cornelius officials have been repeating and will continue to reiterate leading into the transportation bond referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Earlier this summer, Cornelius commissioners approved to put a $24 million bond up to public vote that is aimed at constructing and upgrading roads to improve transit for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
“This is an everyday occurrence at any major road in town,” Grant said showing his opening slide of a congested Cornelius road during the Oct. 1 town board meeting. “We are trying to solve it with a transportation bond in November. We have the opportunity to put $24 million in town funds against $112 million in total road project funds.”
There are several places in town that don’t have adequate accommodations, he said, and the projects are aimed at easing congestion and offering safer intersections and pedestrian access.
Among the projects on the list are seven large-scale NCDOT projects.
• N.C. 115, Potts Street and Davidson Street roundabout and intersection improvements; $1.5 million in town funds, $7.5 million project; Fiscal year 2020
• U.S. 21 and Catawba Avenue intersection improvement; $1.8 million in town funds, $10.5 million in project costs; FY20
• N.C. 115 and Hickory Street traffic signal and intersection improvement; $0.4 million in town funds, $1.4 million in project costs; FY19/20
• U.S. 21 widening from Westmoreland Road to Northcross Center Court; $3 million in town funds, $26.8 million project cost; FY21
• Northcross Drive Extension new road from Westmoreland Road to Northcross Drive; $6.2 million town funds, $14.5 million project cost; FY20
• West Catawba Avenue widening from Jetton Road to Sam Furr Road; $5.8 million town funds, $38 million project cost; FY20
• West Catawba Avenue, Torrence Chapel Road and Liverpool Parkway intersection improvements; $5.5 million town funds, $13.2 million project cost; FY20
“Even though these are small dots,” Grant said, noting the pinpoints on a map depicting the projects, “it still does a big impact.”
Bike and pedestrian improvements are incorporated into many of the road upgrades.
Grant advised doing these projects would otherwise take decades if done solely by the state, but now NCDOT doesn’t have to pay all of the costs associated with the project so they will happen sooner. Overall, this is a 22 percent town match for the overall estimated project costs.
“The next step is the election on Nov. 6,” Grant said. “It’s the largest bond we’ve ever asked for, but it’s likely one of the most important ones.”
Early voting is Oct. 17 through Nov. 3.
For more information, go to www.corneliusbonds.org.