MATTHEWS – The Town of Matthews has taken another step in asking that a portion of the planned widening of John Street be delayed.
Mayor Paul Bailey sent a letter to the N.C. Department of Transportation on Jan. 14 asking for the “Matthews portion” of the project be delayed. Bailey asked NCDOT to delay the portion from Trade Street to 1-485 until other road projects near John Street. are completed. Bailey also said in his letter that the delay will also give the town’s working group more time to work on design details for that section, including the “potential for a reduced typical section.”
The Matthews Board of Commissioners voiced its unanimous support for the delay at its Dec. 10 meeting. The board’s preferred design for the Matthews portion of the project is a two-lane cross section with improvements while NCDOT is proposing a four-lane road.
NCDOT responded by telling the town it needs to seek approval for a delay from the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization. Matthews Transportation Planner Dana Stoogenke sent a letter to CRTPO on March 12 asking that it approve a 2018-2027 Transportation Improvement Planning amendment that splits the current planned 6.5-mile project into two sections. Section A would be the portion from Trade Street to I-485 while Section B would be the portion from I-485 to Wesley Chapel-Stouts Road in Indian Trail. The town is only asking that Section A be delayed.
NCDOT engineer Stewart Basham told commissioners at their March 11 meeting that this is the first time that either he or NCDOT Division Engineer Scott Cole have been asked to delay a project.
“This is sort of uncharted territory for us,” Basham said. “The end result has been a lot of conversations with our upper management, conversations with Federal Highway. It does appear that a delay in the project is possible.’’
It is expected that CRTPO will take up the town’s amendment request at its April meeting.