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Group meets to prioritize Rowan-Cabarrus transportation projects

The proposed Airport Parkway, the widening of N.C. 150, downtown Kannapolis sidewalk improvements and upgrades to the Salisbury train station are among the transportation projects given priority Wednesday by a local advisory committee.

A committee of the Cabarrus-Rowan Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization met to assign points to several projects planned in the two counties.

The point system is part of how the state Department of Transportation decides to allocate funding for major capital improvement projects.

The money goes for highways, aviation, bicycle paths and pedestrian walkways, public transportation, ferries and railroads.

Some 40 percent of the money is dedicated to statewide projects using state-level data and insight. The remaining 60 percent is evenly split between regional projects and “division needs” projects. Both rely on local input.

For 2018, the Cabarrus-Rowan organization was given 1,700 points to split among potential projects to indicate priority.

Some 720 points were allocated to Rowan County projects, including:

• Airport Parkway: 100 points

The Airport Parkway project will be a new route from Harrison Road at Jake Alexander Boulevard to the intersection of U.S. 29 and Peach Orchard Road.

The new route will be two lanes with a multilane right of way.

Right-of-way acquisition is estimated to begin in 2023, with construction beginning in 2025.

• Main Street Kannapolis sidewalk improvements: 100 points

The project will modernize Kannapolis’ Main Street with bike lanes and sidewalks.

Improvements will run from the intersection of Jackson Park and Loop roads to Kimball Road in Rowan County. Right-of-way acquisition is scheduled for 2024, and construction for 2026.

• South N.C. 29 Alternate: 20 points

A new connector is proposed from U.S. 29 to Airport Road. No dates for acquisition or construction are yet defined.

• Widening of N.C. 150: 100 points

The project will widen N.C. 150 to multiple lanes between Airport Road to west of Grants Creek. Right-of-way acquisition is scheduled for 2025, and construction for 2027.

This project received 100 points in the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s regional points allocation in March.

• South U.S. 52 widening: 100 points

The multilane widening will be from Misenheimer Bypass to Rockwell Bypass. Right-of-way acquisition is scheduled for 2025, and construction for 2027.

The project received 100 points during the regional points allocation in March.

• North Main Street, Kannapolis, sidewalks: 100 points

If funded, the project could bring sidewalks to North Main Street from 12th to 22nd streets.

• Town Creek Greenway: 100 points

The greenway would connect East Spencer’s Royal Giants Park and the town of Spencer. It will run from Correll Street to the Andrews Street overpass.

• Salisbury train station upgrades: 100 points

The $2.9 million project will upgrade the Salisbury Station building with expanded waiting space and parking.

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