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Traffic Signal 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 configuration.

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.

Rather 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 intersections have been placed to allow the maximum distance possible between the signals.

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 the Lake Wylie Pilot.

Also see the Dixie River Road Realignment page on the Charlotte Department of Engineering and Property management web site.

See the following previous stories:


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