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In southern Rowan County, I-85 construction will change several dozen street addresses

By Josh Bergeron

josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — When road construction on improvements to Interstate 85 concludes, residents of Old Beatty Ford Road may find they’ve been assigned a new address.

Several dozen addresses in southern Rowan County are scheduled to change as a result of the relocation of Old Beatty Ford Road near a proposed I-85 exit, according to county Planning Department staff.

Staff from the N.C. Department of Transportation, Rowan County Planning Department and China Grove Post Office as well as first responders talked about the name changes during a December meeting. The County Commissioners will weigh in on the name changes Monday.

Some streets need to be renamed because a new, straight road — where an I-85 exit will be located — is planned north of Old Beatty Ford Road, Planning Director Ed Muire said. The construction is considered a relocation of Old Beatty Ford Road. That means the current Old Beatty Ford Road needs a new name. But tacking another “old” onto its name won’t do, said Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason.

“Road names that are similar in sound or exact duplicates, especially in the same vicinity, can cause some confusion for first responders,” Thomason said.

Rowan County Communications Director Allen Cress said it’s best to use distinct names to prevent first responders from going to the wrong address. Distinct road names are especially helpful with the prevalent use of cellphones, the device of choice for most 911 calls these days, Cress said. Words such as “new” or “old” can become distorted with a bad cellphone connection, he said.

The new, straight street will start at Old Beatty Ford Road’s intersection with Bostian Road, shoot across I-85 and end at an intersection with Lentz Road, north of Bruner Sloop Road, according to DOT plans. A section of Lentz Road will become Old Beatty Ford Road.

A total of 14 houses on Lentz Road will have their addresses changed to Old Beatty Ford Road, said Aaron Poplin, a county planning technician.

Poplin said the county’s plans include extending Bostian Road onto a section of Old Beatty Ford Road east of I-85. The extended section of Bostian Road will become a dead end at I-85. A bridge at that site will be demolished.

County plans show 28 addresses must change to Bostian Road as a result of the construction.

On the east side of I-85, from Lentz Road to the current bridge, Poplin said a road name hasn’t been chosen. Freewill Road is one name that has been floated, he said. Staff at Rowan Communications said county commissioners would have the final say in road names.

On Monday, commissioners will hear a presentation about the new road names. No public hearing is scheduled specifically on the road construction Monday, but general public comment is allowed at the start of every commissioners meeting.

Monday’s meeting will be at 3 p.m. in the county administration building, 130 West Innes St.

A small side road will be created as a result of construction. Its name will be decided by residents of the five affected houses, Poplin said.

With the exception of those slated to change to an Old Beatty Ford Road address, all affected houses, businesses and other structures will receive a new address number, Poplin said. For example, a business currently at 1500 Old Beatty Ford Road would be unlikely to receive a 1500 Bostian Road address.

It’s unclear when the address changes might become official. The I-85 widening work and interstate exit construction are scheduled to wrap up in 2019.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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