Salisbury to receive grant for Main Street improvements

Published 12:05 am Friday, June 23, 2023

SALISBURY — Main Street in downtown Salisbury has thrived recently because of its wide variety of stores and the growing population that visits it everyday. As it continues to be a social and economic hub for Salisbury, city leaders believe Main Street will need regular maintenance and investment in order to reach its fullest potential.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Salisbury City Council approved of a municipal agreement totaling $9,283,444 with the North Carolina Department of Transportation for improvements to Main Street in downtown Salisbury. Construction will take place in the six block radius between Kerr and Horah streets.

“We’ve gotten a lot of the repaving and repainting done on the street. We’re going to do a lot of sidewalk work. It is definitely a very intense kind of project where we will, in appropriate scenarios, be ripping up some of the sidewalk,” Downtown Development Director Sada Troutman said. “We’re going to be addressing ADA accessibility, we’ll be addressing some sidewalk amenities like making things more pedestrian-friendly in terms of benches. Some accessibility for sidewalk dining, planters, street lights. We’re going to be looking at everything that falls on the sidewalk.”

The grant was awarded to the city by the Cabarrus-Rowan Metropolitan Planning Organization. Initially, Salisbury will pay for the entire cost of the project. Once everything is completed and all expenses are accounted for, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will reimburse up to $7,426,755 of the grant amount back to the city. The remaining $1,856,689 will have to be fully matched. Troutman says the financing amount will be paid “over the lifespan of the project…over multiple fiscal years.”

Design drawings are expected to be completed by July 2024 with construction beginning soon after. This project has been in the works in some form since 2019, when the city first requested design plans to improve the safety, mobility and appearance of a 10 block section of Main Street. In 2021, a Main Street plan was presented to city council that looked at a number of other North Carolina cities who have followed similar plans successfully that included items like bike lanes, which called for reducing travel lanes from four to three, and creating bump-outs alongside restaurants to create side-walk dining. The goal has been to improve the safety and flow of traffic, to encourage pedestrian use of sidewalks and to create a space where visitors want to spend time.