STEELE CREEK NEWS
Widening Projects Make First Cut for 2040 Plan
2013) Staff of the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning
Organization (CRTPO) have completed the Tier 1 review of projects
for inclusion in its
2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, and several Steele
Creek projects made the cut for continuation to the Tier 2
#2 (tie) Widening I-77 from Woodlawn Road to
#21 Widening S
Tryon Street (to 6 lanes) from I-485 to Steele Creek Road
#33 (tie) Garden Parkway from I-485 to the Gaston County
line (Catawba River)
#36 (tie) Widening Steele Creek Road (Hwy 160) from
Shopton Road W to S Tryon Street
#44 (tie) Widening Steele Creek Road (Hwy 160) from S
Tryon Street to the South Carolina
See the entire list
HERE. This will open a PDF file of the candidate projects
with their Tier 1 scores in a new browser window.
At the July 11 meeting of the Technical Coordinating Committee
(TCC), CRTPO staff said that the top 85 of 213 ranked projects
would continue to the Tier 2 evaluation. About 30 projects will survive to make the
final 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan (MTP). Decisions on
which projects to include in the final MTP are based not only on
the merits of the projects but also on the anticipated available
funding over the upcoming years. CRTPO approval of the final
project list is anticipated in October 2013.
The full plan, expected to be completed in March 2014, will recommend
that these surviving projects be funded and completed within the
next 25 years.
The Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning
Organization, or MUMPO, is transitioning to its new name,
the Charlotte Regional Transportation
Planning Organization, or CRTPO.
The 2040 Long range Transportation Plan is now called the
2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan.
The process involves
two major sets of geography. First is the CRTPO boundary, which
includes all of Mecklenburg County, all of Iredell County except the
northern rural portions, and all of Union County except the of
northeastern and southern rural portions. (Click
HERE to open a map of the CRTPO area showing all
candidate projects in a new browser window.) Second are the North
Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Highway Divisions.
Mecklenburg and Union Counties are in
Highway Division 10, and the Tier 1 ranking scores for
projects in these counties have been completed. Scores are still
under development for projects in Iredell County, which is in
Highway Division 12.
The MTP candidate
projects include many that involve interstate highways, including
five of the six top ranked projects. If the top interstate projects
are chosen for construction, there likely would be little funds left
for other projects. The final list likely will include several lower
ranked, non-interstate projects to ensure that funding is
distributed to areas throughout the planning area.
Like most interstate
highways, I-77 initially was constructed as a 4-lane highway with a
grassy median. It was widened to 6 lanes some years ago by
eliminating the grassy median. Any future widening of I-77 would
involve the acquisition of additional right of way and
reconstruction of overpasses and bridges, which would make the
widening of I-77 from Woodlawn Road to I-485 a very expensive
The widening of S
Tryon Street from I-485 to Steele Creek Road to six lanes is ranked
higher than either of the two Steele Creek Road projects (north and
south of S Tryon Street). If S Tryon Street ranks high in the final
ranking but local opinion supports widening Steele Creek Road
instead, CRTPO could decide that funding allocated to the Steele
Creek area could be given to Steele Creek Road over S Tryon Street.
The Garden Parkway is
a controversial toll road that would begin at I-85 west of Gastonia,
continue through southern Gaston County, cross the Catawba River,
and connect with I-485 at the West Boulevard interchange. Its future
is currently very much in doubt.
Once CRTPO approves
the 2040 MTP, NCDOT will
evaluate the included projects to see which should be added to
the statewide Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) (also
called the Seven Year Plan) when it is updated, likely in late
The best case scenario
would be that the widening of Steele Creek Road will
slide onto the bottom of the list in the seven year TIP and
slowly move up in the ranking, possibly being started in about
eight years at the soonest.
The worst case scenario is that Steele Creek Road does not make the
2040 MTP at all, and thus its widening would still not occur for
over 25 years.
residents need to monitor the development of the draft 2040 MTP and
be prepared to provide comments later this fall.
Highway 160 Widening will have Tough Squeeze through Funding
(April 1, 2013) for additional information about the
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