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Landis goes on offensive over road conditions

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

LANDIS — Residents of Landis have vowed to take the fight over poor road conditions to the N.C. Department of Transportation. The topic was featured prominently at Monday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting, with town officials, aldermen and residents voicing concern about what they say are dangerous intersections and poorly maintained roads.

Of chief concern are Chapel Street and the intersection of Main Street and West Ryder Avenue. Both are the result of railroad repairs that have been ongoing since summer 2016. The repairs are part of the Salisbury-to-Kannapolis Railroad Improvements, which involve constructing about 11 miles of second track between Salisbury and Kannapolis as well as extending Kimball Road from Main Street to Chapel Street under a new railroad bridge.

“Between the two, they’ve just about destroyed downtown Landis,” Mayor Mike Mahaley said of the railroad company and the Department of Transportation.

Chapel Street, residents said, has suffered extensive damage to pavement after months of hard use by heavy equipment. West Ryder Avenue now has the town’s only railroad crossing after Mill Street was closed permanently in October. Since then, town officials said, the intersection of West Ryder and Main streets has seen multiple vehicle accidents, including a pin-in, a tractor-trailer taking out a control box and a driver making a wrong turn and driving directly on the railroad tracks, where his vehicle became stuck.

Monday night, aldermen urged residents to contact their state representatives. And during the public comment period, residents agreed.

“It’s gonna take the whole town to do it,” L.A. Overcash said.

One person went so far as to suggest that town employees put contact information for state Rep. Carl Ford and state Sen. Andrew Brock, who represent the area, into town bills that are mailed out. Town officials approved of the idea and promised to see it through.

“These two aren’t the problem,” Mahaley said of the state officials, “but they’re the ones we have to go through to lodge a complaint.”

In other business Monday, the board:

  • Unanimously agreed to support a county declaration of interdependence after hearing from Rowan County Commissioners Chairman Greg Edds. “I’m just happy that our county commissioners realize that the county line does not stop at Klumac Road,” Mayor Pro Tem Dorland Abernathy said.
  • Held a public hearing to rezone two parcels of land, one on Coldwater Street and one on Linn Avenue, from residential to business. The board unanimously approved the rezoning.
  • Reviewed a possible emergency water agreement between Landis and the city of Salisbury.
  • Received its annual audit.
  • Were informed of Police Chief Bob Wood’s intent to retire. Wood’s retirement will be effective March 3. Wood has been working for the Landis Police Department since 1982.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.

 

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