NCDOT holds public meeting about proposed improvements to U.S. 321 ALT in Granite Falls
GRANITE FALLS, NC (March 2, 2019) — The N.C. Department of Transportation is proposing improvements to U.S. 321 ALT from Pinewood Road to Duke Street in Granite Falls.
The purpose of this project is to improve traffic flow and increase pedestrian safety. As part of this project, sight-distance downtown and safety of school-crossings within the project limits will be improved.
A public meeting was held on Thursday, February 28 at First Baptist Church in Granite Falls. Several representatives from the NCDOT and the TGS Engineering Firm were on hand to answer questions. Granite Falls Town Manager Jerry Church and Granite Falls Town Planner Greg Wilson were also on hand to answer questions.
Improvements Being Considered:
– Widen existing U.S. 321 ALT to 3 lanes, to include two 11-foot travel lanes with curb and gutter and an 11-foot center turn lane.
– Construct 6-foot sidewalks on the north side of U.S. 321 ALT between Pinewood Road and Duke Street.
– Realign Dudley Avenue to improve sight distance to allow for reconstruction of downtown parking for safer accessibility.
– Construct connector road on new location to link Dudley Avenue to Lakeside Avenue.
– Improve intersections at Pinewood Road, Dry Ponds Road, Highland Avenue, Park Avenue and Lakeside Avenue.
As a result of this proposed project, it will be much easier and safer to navigate downtown Granite Falls for both motor vehicles and pedestrians.
All aspects of this project including curbing, guttering, sidewalks, school crossings, lane widths, safety features, sight distance improvements, infrastructure upgrades, grade changes, etc. will result in the much-needed modernization of this portion of U.S. 321 ALT.
The Center lane will help to reduce rear-end collisions and aid in keeping traffic flowing as well as provide more room for emergency vehicles to navigate through town.
The aging water and sewer infrastructure under this portion of U.S. 321 ALT will be replaced/upgraded in conjunction with the project. Utility poles will also be re-positioned in a much safer place behind sidewalks. Both of which will be of great benefit to the town.
Transitions from across railroad tracks onto U.S. 321 ALT at the above-mentioned intersections will be leveled out (the grade of U.S. 321 ALT will be increased to accomplish this).
Approximately 12 properties may be affected in this proposed plan (mostly businesses and possibly one residence). There is still some uncertainty as to which properties specifically will be affected. As soon as we confirm the properties, we will update this article.
It appears that approximately 24 downtown parking spaces have been eliminated in this proposed plan. The proposed reconstruction of downtown parking at Park Square up to Mackie Furniture only looks to have lost 1 parking space with 23 spaces lost on South Main Street. The Town of Granite Falls is very concerned about the reduction of parking spaces in this proposed plan. Town officials are working with the NCDOT to make changes and they are optimistic that a solution can be attained. In one of the town’s suggestions to the NCDOT, the Park Square parking lot would actually gain parking spaces. The real challenge is parking on South Main Street and the town is working on this. As soon as we hear about any changes or updates, we will be sure to pass them along.
Remember, the proposed plan that was presented is a preliminary plan…
STIP PROJECT NO. U-6034
Project Initiation May 2017
Right of Way Acquisition Fiscal (FY) 2020
Begin Construction (FY) 2022
Estimated Project Cost:
Right of Way $5,000,000
Comments can be submitted by March 15, 2019, via phone, email or mail.
For additional information or to mail comments, contact:
Jimmy Terry, P.E.
804-C North Lafayette Street
Shelby, NC 28150
(704) 476-0003 ext. 314