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McCoy Road improvements, first phase of Grants Creek Greenway to be completed this year

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — With several capital improvement projects on the docket for the city, engineering staff expect a McCoy Road project and the first phase of the Grants Creek Greenway to be completed later this year.

In the 2020-21 fiscal year budget, the city earmarked about $3.58 million for various capital improvement projects, with about $2.38 million of that in offsetting revenue from grants. City manager Lane Bailey included a message in the budget proposal that only projects with offsetting revenue would move forward, while other projects would be delayed until the city obtained funding.

In January, the city completed Newsome Road project, which improved the heavily trafficked, 1-mile area that connects Bringle Ferry Road to Stokes Ferry Road by widening the original 20-foot wide ribbon pavement section to a 30-foot wide asphalt section, with 2.5-foot curbs and gutters along each side. The new road is striped with 11-foot travel lanes along with 4-foot bicycle lanes on each side and 5-foot sidewalks running along the west side of the road.

Though that project was completed a few months ahead of schedule, it had been delayed for years due to issues with the federal funds. It was funded by the NCDOT Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Grant, and ultimately cost $2.7 million. The city provided a 20% match of nearly $1 million. The 2019-20 city budget included funding for the project, but after extending it into the 2020-21 fiscal year, $1.58 million was appropriated.

The Grants Creek Greenway will ultimately create a 1-mile stretch from the Meadowbrook neighborhood to Kelsey Scott Park and will include upgraded traffic signals. The greenway will connect to the existing greenway that cuts a path behind Catawba College, extending past Overton Elementary and Knox Middle School.

The project will be separated into three phases, City Engineering Director Wendy Brindle told the Post. The first implements a low-water bridge connection from Catawba College to the existing greenway trail near Forestdale Drive. Brindle said construction of the first phase is expected to begin in May and be complete by August. Dane Construction is the contractor for the project.

The second phase, Brindle said, is in the design stage and will move to easement purchase this summer. But while design will begin for the third phase this summer as well, it could take up to a year before moving to easement purchase. Brindle said the city would like to construct the second and third phases together, so it may not begin until the fall of 2022 or the spring of 2023.

The Grants Creek Greenway project totals about $4.53 million, but is being funded from a Surface Transportation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration. The city adopted a match of $250,000 in the 2020-21 budget for the project, with $200,000 in offsetting revenue.

Salisbury Public Works Assistant Director Chris Tester told the Post that construction of a culvert replacement project on McCoy Road is now expected to begin by April and be completed by June. The city increased its stormwater fees by 8 cents when the 2020-21 budget was adopted in an effort to offset inflation and provide funds for stormwater projects that would reduce flooding and pollution. The McCoy Road project is estimated to cost $356,469, and the city allocated $107,920 in the 2020-21 budget for the contract in September. W.K. Dickson & Co., Inc., is currently under contract for construction.

Another project includes implementing sidewalks to span the east side of Brenner Avenue from W. Horah Street to Statesville Boulevard. A left turn lane would be added at the intersection of S. Link and Brenner avenues into the W. G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center. The city anticipates design for that project will be complete by the end of March, with the easement purchase expected late spring or early summer. Brindle said construction would begin in spring of 2022.

The benefit of this project is that it will connect to the greenway that begins on the other side of W. Horah Street, and provide a connection for pedestrians traveling between Livingstone College and Catawba College. The total cost of the project is $700,000 and is being funded through another NCDOT Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality improvement grant. A federal Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is funding the sidewalk implementation.

The city adopted a match of $125,000 in the 2020-21 budget for that project, with $100,000 in offsetting revenue.

Another project includes implementing sidewalks along Old Concord Road, which is also being funded through a NCDOT Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant. Brindle said the design phase is anticipated to end in June, with construction to begin in the summer of 2022. The total cost of the project is about $414,000, and the city adopted $120,000 for that project in the 2020-21 budget.

Additionally, the city adopted $200,000 for a project that would calm traffic on South Long and Innes streets. Traffic calming projects use physical designs or other measures to improve safety and slow down speed. Brindle said some calming has been completed on South Long Street and that a push-button pedestrian signal will be added to the intersection of Bank and Long streets. Innes Street will be repaved sometime between March and November when the NCDOT is expected to make a visit to Salisbury. Ultimately, cross-walks similar to those added on East Innes Street will be implemented at each intersection, Brindle said.

Tester also told the Post the city is currently finalizing contracts with the NCDOT to make bridge repairs on Fisher and Ellis streets. It’s not yet known when construction on that project will begin because it depends on when permits are received for the project. The city is currently awaiting contractor right-of-entry permits from the N.C. Railroad and Norfolk Southern. Once construction begins, he anticipates about 42 days on Fisher Street before spending 20 days on Ellis Street.

Brindle said the Downtown Main Street plan is currently being reviewed by city staff based on several sessions of public input received in recent weeks. City staff will soon present a modified plan to city council members, and they are expected to adopt a more comprehensive plan. That multi-phased streetscape plan is proposed for 10 blocks along Salisbury’s Main Street. The first part of the plan, which is set to take place sometime before the end of this year, involves re-striping, while the second phase includes a long-term vision for sidewalks and parking improvements to beautify the downtown area and make it more appealing for pedestrians.

Brindle added that the city planning department currently has additional federal Community Development Block Grant funds available for a sidewalk on Ryan Street between Celebration Drive and Old Concord Road. Plans are almost complete, and easements will be purchased after. It’s estimated to cost $75,000, not including easement purchases.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246. 

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