STEELE CREEK NEWS
Coming to Steele Creek Road/Shopton Road West Intersection
(May 6, 2006)
Last November, city staff and engineering consultants unveiled
several alternative alignments for the intersection of Steele Creek
Road with Shopton Road West and a new realigned Dixie River Road.
However, the lengthy planning, designing, contracting, and
construction process meant that a solution to this dangerous
intersection would not be achieved for more than a year.
The message was
clear: a solution is needed now. Planners continue working on the
long-term solution, but in the interim, a new traffic signal will be
installed by late summer. City staff originally believed a
time-consuming study and redesign was needed to build left turn
lanes, but they decided to install the signal with the current road
The problem with the
current configuration is that traffic backs up waiting for motorists
to turn left from northbound Steele Creek Road onto Shopton Road
West. When the signal goes up, left turns likely will be restricted,
either at all times or during peak traffic times.
At the April 27
public meeting on the Dixie Rive Road realignment, city staff said
that the new traffic signal had been placed in immediate design
phase and installastion is expected in about three months.
However, the main
focus of the April 27 public meeting was to present Alternate 2C as
the preferred alternative for the new roads. This was one of four
alternatives presented last November. Further review showed this to
be the best plan.
Traffic studies show
that most traffic will be going along current Steele Creek Road.
Initial plans called for a single intersection, which would require
most of the southbound traffic to be making a left turn. Alternate
2C allows the heaviest traffic to continue straight without turning.
than having the new Dixie River Road join to the Shopton Road West
intersection, planners have separated the two intersections. Each
will have a traffic signal. Eventually a third traffic signal will
be installed at the ramp at I-485 just to the north. The new
have been placed to allow the maximum distance possible between
The new Dixie River
Road initially will have two lanes separated by a wide median. This
median will have enough room for an additional lane to be added on
each side later. This road will lead into the center of the new Berewick
development. Shopton Road West will be two lanes. Both roads will
have sidewalks, curbs, and planting strips.
The Thoroughfare Plan
adopted by the Mecklenburg-Union Metropolitan Planning Organization
(MUMPO) includes a single intersection in this area. MUMPO must
adopt a revised Thoroughfare Plan that shows the new alignments before the
roads can be constructed.
The design currently
is only conceptual. Final design, including the specific locations
of the new roads, still must be completed. Other steps include
right-of-way acquisition, utility location, and the bid process.
Construction will not begin until early 2007.
Staff said that the
Shopton Road West realignment may be accelerated over the Dixie
River Road realignment.
For another report on
the new intersection, see
City unveils new look of intersection (May 2, 2006) in
Also see the
Dixie River Road Realignment page on the Charlotte
Department of Engineering and Property management web site.
See the following previous stories: