Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By Hugh Fisher
Kannapolis Citizen
On Monday, the Kannapolis City Council unanimously approved a bid to extend Rogers Lake Road to connect with Kannapolis Parkway, fulfilling the hopes of developers at the Kellswater Bridge residential neighborhood and Kellswater Commons mixed-use development.
The winning bid of $4.7 million was submitted by Blythe Development Company of Charlotte.
The developers of the Kellswater Commons project are contributing to the cost of construction, according to City Manager Mike Legg.
The four-lane, 4,700-foot extension will connect the road to Kannapolis Parkway and includes drainage systems, paving, grading, bike lanes, signage and traffic signals as well as some improvements to nearby Eisenhower Road.
As approved, the project is significantly larger than the original design, which called for single lanes in either direction with a center turn lane.
“We did a traffic study that indicated to us that a four-lane divided section was needed, long-term,” Legg said.
The council had the option to approve a lower bid which would have built a two-lane section but would have only graded the land, leaving the expansion to four lanes for later.
“We feel that waiting to build the four-lane section will be much more expensive than building the whole section at this time,” Legg said in his comments to the board.
Officials also debated an amendment to the Village Park Storm Water/Pedestrian Underpass Improvements Project Ordinance. Staff requested an additional $80,000 be added to the budget.
The project to install the new 84-inch storm water line is under way. The additional funds were requested largely because of damage to an existing 54-inch line, which will cross underneath the new pipe.
The existing pipe was found to be too weak to support the 20-ton weight of the pipe segment that would be installed across it.
Council members were divided on whether to approve the unforeseen expense or wait for more information from a representative of Site Solutions, who was in charge of the project.
However, to complicate matters, the new storm water line is being installed in Village Park in areas where summer activities are ongoing. Part of the water line runs across the area where the park’s new train is to be installed.
“Any delay now impacts us,” said Gary Mills, director of the Kannapolis Parks and Recreation Department.
“It’s going to end up costing us more money if we wait,” said Mayor Pro Tem Randy Cauthen.
The measure was approved 5 to 1, with Mayor Bob Misenheimer opposing the measure because of a lack of information from the contractor.
In other business, the Kannapolis City Council:
– Approved the use of Community Development Block Grant funds for water system connection and tap fees at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s facility in Cloverleaf Plaza.
– Discussed the appointment of a citizen in the Rowan County area of Kannapolis to the Rowan County Housing Authority; no action was taken.