Cars and trucks make their way up a stretch of N.C. 73 Thursday. A meeting unveiling plans for the roadâ€™s future will be held Wednesday.
Jenny Walling / Lincoln Times-News
Plans for the future of N.C. 73 will be unveiled Wednesday at one of three public meetings in the area.
Anyone who lives along the road or who regularly drives it is encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Catawba Springs Elementary School. The meeting will take place in an open house format.
â€œItâ€™s going to affect people even off 73, like the people who commute,â€ said Barry McKinnon, land use coordinator for Lincoln County. â€œItâ€™s going to have an impact on a lot of different people in Lincoln County.â€
This final round of corridor plan regional meetings will allow residents to give feedback on the draft plan for the future of N.C. 73.
These recommendations are based on months of research by consultants and planners, as well as public input from community workshops held since November.
â€œThe project has really evolved,â€ said Donal Simpson, project manager for lead consultant HNTB.
â€œWeâ€™ve been working with staffs and elected officials for the different communities, so we have tailored the plan to what the individual communities want.â€
The N.C. 73 corridor extends for 35 miles, from Lincolnton to I-85 in Cabarrus County.
During the meeting, HNTB will present specific proposals for the entire corridor that will be divided into 10 segments tailored to each community.
Maps depicting the proposed layout and road designs for each section will be available for residents to view, McKinnon said.
â€œTheyâ€™ll have a chance to review that and comment on that,â€ he said. â€œIf they want to have input on that, then it would be good to be there.â€
After the meeting and others held in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, ideas will be taken and a final plan will be created. That plan will go to the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The goal of the project is to get on DOTâ€™s Transportation Improvement Plan, McKinnon said.
Simpson said it is important that towns work together on the project and understand that the goal is to make the corridor better overall.
â€œThere will be surprises, because there is not an easy solution for some areas along the corridor,â€ he said. â€œPopulation will double or triple in some areas which results in more congestion.â€
HNTB has worked in collaboration with the DOT, Centralina Council of Governments, several subconsultants and a steering committee composed of city and county planners, engineers and business leaders from Lincoln, Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties.
Meetings will also be held Tuesday at Harris Road Middle School in Cabarrus County and Thursday at Cornelius Town Hall in Mecklenburg County.by Alice Smith