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New Klumac has space for bikes, sidewalks

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY — The new Klumac Road will be under construction for most of 2014, including a new bridge over Town Creek.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will reroute Klumac as an extension of Mooresville Road and take it under the railroad tracks, allowing Norfolk Southern to close the current at-grade crossing. The old Klumac Road will deadend at the railroad tracks.
The state will begin design and property acquisition in the coming year, City Engineer Dan Mikkelson told City Council Tuesday.
In a separate but related project, the state plans to replace the bridge on Klumac that crosses Town Creek.
The new Klumac Road will feature wide outside lanes to accommodate bicycle traffic. The project qualifies for sidewalks on both sides of the road, but DOT will require the city to pay 30 percent of the cost, Mikkelson said. How much the city would have to kick in isn’t clear yet.
Mikkelson said he asked DOT to waive its sidewalk policy and pick up the entire tab since the federal government is paying the total cost of the road realignment — $9 million — but DOT declined.
City Council will consider the sidewalk deal at a future meeting.
When the state completes the new bridge and road realignment, DOT will ask Salisbury to accept both the new and old Klumacs into the city’s street system, Mikkelson said, in accordance with a street responsibilities agreement signed in 1997.
The new Klumac Road will connect from Mooresville Road to East A Avenue, go under the tracks and behind Johnson Concrete, cross Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and tie back into the original Klumac Road just southeast of Kentucky Street.
“The project will be under construction pretty much the whole year,” Mikkelson said.
The city qualified for federal stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“We had an excellent project ready to go and had done our homework,” Mikkelson said.
The Klumac realignment has been a long time coming. The city identified the project during one of the state’s first comprehensive railroad corridor safety studies in 1994.
After DOT feasibility studies and a lengthy process with public input to choose the preferred alignment for Klumac, City Council endorsed the project in 2003 and the alignment with the least impact on Johnson Concrete.
So far, the city has closed nine crossing identified in the 1994 safety study and soon will close the 10th at Horah Street. As part of the closings, the state, railroad and city have invested $1.5 million in street improvements, Mikkelson said.
The Council took no action, as Mikkelson presented his report for information only, but several members said they were pleased with the progress.


In other action
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Salisbury City Council:
• Lowered the speed limit to 25 mph on portions of East Fisher Street, East Bank Street, East Horah Street, South Shaver Street and South Clay Street.
• Passed a resolution opposing the consolidation of judicial and prosecutorial districts.
• Agreed to allow private decorative street lighting on Crenshaw Court at no additional cost to the city.
• Heard from Engineer Technician Vickie Eddleman that city street light malfunctions have declined from 177 in 2010 to 102 this year. The city has more than 4,200 street lights.
If someone wants to request a street light or report one that’s not working, call the Engineering Division at 704-638-5213. Funding for new lights was cut to balance this year’s budget, so it will take at least a year to get a new street light.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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