(July 28, 2017) In
Mecklenburg County, road
projects (including widening or otherwise improving existing roads
as well as constructing new roads) go through a series of planning
steps starting with a wish list (the Comprehensive Transportation
Plan, or CTP) and continuing through to having funding committed (in
the State Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP).
During each step,
local planning staff with the Charlotte Regional Transportation
Planning Organization, or CRTPO, and the North Carolina Department
of Transportation, or NCDOT, evaluate and prioritize each project,
which determines whether it moves on to the next step. Most steps
include opportunities for public participation and input.
These steps may
include other transportation projects, such as rail, public
transportation, bicycle, and pedestrian projects. The following
discussion focuses on highway and other road projects in Steele Creek.
The CTP "represents
the Charlotte areaís long-term vision for how the transportation
network should evolve to serve residents and employers." It
includes projects that may be built 30 or more years into the future
and is not limited by available or expected funding. The CTP has two
To provide a list of projects for further evaluation
through the Metropolitan Transportation Plan process, and
To ensure that proposed right-of-ways are protected from
and updated the local CTP in 2016 and approved the current CTP
in January 2017. The North Carolina Board of Transportation
adopted the CTP in March 2017.
The CTP includes improvements to numerous roads within Steele Creek.
It also includes the following new roads, which are numbered on the
map below. See the full map
A new thoroughfare through the planned River District
connecting to a new bridge across the Catawba River. This
previously had been the Garden Parkway freeway but has been
downgraded to a major thoroughfare.
A new alignment for West Boulevard due to a planned
new airport runway. But it also shows improvements to Douglas
Drive and Pine Oaks Drive, which may be the new West Boulevard
A new road connecting Arrowood Road with Shopton Road.
Also a new road connecting Arrowood Road to Whitehall Park Drive
with an overpass over I-485.
An extension of Carowinds Boulevard west of South Tryon
Street at John Price Road, along the north side of the Crossings
neighborhood, connecting with Sam Neely Road, continuing along a
reserved right-of-way through Planters Walk, and then following
Winget Road to Shopton Road West.
A new road connecting Choate Circle to South Tryon Street
at Corsica Forest Drive. Part of this is currently being built
by developers of a new apartment complex on South Tryon Street.
A new alignment of Youngblood Road (Shopton Road West
extension) between South Tryon Street and Zoar Road.
extension of Shopton Road east of South Tryon Street continuing
to Nations Ford Road and Archdale Road, including an overpass
The MTP includes
projects for which revenue is expected to be available within the
upcoming 25 years.
CRTPO adopted the 2040
MTP in April 2014 and currently is
preparing the 2045 MTP. Projects are prioritized and grouped by
horizon years, which implies that there will be funding available to
complete the projects by the horizon year. Horizon year 2025
includes projects that are already funded and scheduled for
construction in the next few years. Additional future projects are listed under
horizon years 2035 and 2045.
Steele Creek projects
being considered in the draft 2045 MTP are the following:
Horizon Year 2025 (Existing
and Committed in STIP)
Improve Steele Creek Road/Hamilton Road intersection with
turn lanes and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
Convert the intersection of Beam Road and Shopton
Road to a roundabout with bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
Widen Steele Creek Road from I-485 to the South Carolina
state line to 4 lanes with bicycle lanes and sidewalks.
Extend West Boulevard from I-485 to Dixie River Road as a 4-lane
road with a multi-use path.
Horizon Year 2035
Extend Carowinds Boulevard west from South Tryon Street to
Steele Creek Road by improving existing roadways and
constructing new roadways. It will be a 2 lane roadway with
median, bike lanes, and sidewalks.
Widen I-77 from I-485 to I-277 (Belk Freeway) from 6
lanes to 10 lanes, including express lanes.
Widen South Tryon Street from 4 lanes to 6 lanes from I-485
to Steele Creek Road, including a median and a multi-use path.
Widen Westinghouse Boulevard from 4 lanes to 6 lanes, including
a median, bike lanes, and sidewalks from South Tryon Street to
Nations Ford Road.
Horizon Year 2045
Widen I-485 through Steele Creek
from I-77 to I-85 from 6 lanes to 8 lanes, including express
Widen South Tryon Street from Shopton Road to I-485 from 4
lanes to 6 lanes with median and multi-use path.
Creek Road from I-485 north to the new Western Parkway from 2
lanes to 4 lanes with median, bike paths, and sidewalks.
Build a new Western Parkway from Steele Creek Road to Billy
Graham Parkway as a 4 lane road with a median and multi-use
There will be another opportunity
for public input early in 2018, and CRTPO is scheduled to adopt the
2045 MTP in March 2018.
Prioritization is NCDOT's
decision making tool that quantitatively evaluates projects to be
considered for the next Transportation Improvement Program (TIP).
CRTPO recommends projects, NCDOT scores the projects, and CRTPO
applies local input points using a methodology that includes
qualitative, quantitative, and local involvement components.
During the comment period for
CRTPO received 37 comments, of which about three fourths were in
support of Highway 160 projects. Widening Highway 160 from Shopton
Road West to Highway 49 and improvements to the Highway 160/Hamilton
Road intersection received local input points from CRTPO, but the
widening of Highway 160 from Highway 49 to the South Carolina state
line did not.
The Prioritization 3.0 process was completed in fall 2014.
The Widening of Highway 160 from Highway 49 to the
South Carolina state line was evaluated during the
Prioritization 4.0 process two years later and scored well
enough to move up to be on the same schedule as that part of Highway
160 north of
Prioritization 5.0 is now underway. Projects have been
identified for scoring, and the only highway project being
considered in the Steele Creek area is the widening of I-77 to 10
lanes north of I-485. However, the Walker Branch Greenway between
Steele Creek Road at Sledge Road and Smith Road is on the list of
potential bicycle and pedestrian projects.
The STIP is a statewide
list of projects released by NCDOT that realistically can be funded within the
upcoming 10 years. Projects scheduled to begin right-of-way
acquisition or utility relocation in the first 5 years of the STIP
are considered committed and not subject to reprioritization.
Projects scheduled to begin after the first 5 years are subject to
Improvement Program (TIP) includes the projects on the statewide
list within the local CRTPO area.
TIP lists two committed projects within Steele Creek:
Improve the intersection of Highway 160 and Hamilton Road
with turn lanes, sidewalks and other features consistent with the
future widening of Highway 160. Construction is scheduled to begin
Widen Highway 160 from Shopton Road West to Highway 49 to 4
lanes with a grassy median, bike lanes, and sidewalks.
Right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation was scheduled to
begin in 2020, with construction occurring in 2022 and 2023.
widening of Highway 160 from Highway 49 to the South Carolina
state line was not included on the 2016-2025 STIP.
issued the initial draft 2018-2027 STIP in January 2017 and a
revised draft in June 2017. The draft STIP now includes the following:
Widen Highway 160 from Highway 49 to the South
Carolina state line with right-of-way acquisition beginning in
2019 and construction beginning in 2021.
Acceleration of the beginning of the widening of the
entire length of Highway 160 from I-485 to the South Carolina
state line. Right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation is now
scheduled to begin in 2019, and construction is scheduled to begin
in 2021 and continue through 2024. If approved, this project would
not be subject to reprioritization.
Widen I-77 from I-485 to I-277 from 6 lanes to 10 lanes
including 2 managed lanes in each direction. Preliminary
right-of-way acquisition start date is 2024 and preliminary
construction start date is 2027. Since this project is scheduled
to begin after the first 5 years of the STIP, it is not committed
and is subject to reprioritization.
NCDOTís Board of Transportation will adopt the STIP in August,
and CRTPO will be required to adopt the 2018-2027 TIP by
September of 2017. CRTPO is accepting comments to the local
2018-2027 DRAFT TIP through August 9. See
Comment Period Open for Highway 160 Project.
The map below shows
the projects in draft 2018-2027 STIP in southwestern Mecklenburg County. The map showing all
the projects in
Mecklenburg County can be viewed
residents will have opportunities to provide input in local projects as each of these
plans is updated in the future.
CRTPO has provided
the following video to explain the transportation planning process: