Rea Road Extention gets NCDOT scrutiny

Jun. 29, 2013 @ 04:36 PM

The Rea Road extension project is still a possibility, but faces tough scrutiny by state officials.

Tuesday, N.C. Department of Transportation officials met with the public at Weddington Middle School to present plans and a possible timeline for construction.

But Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill that would re-prioritize all funded projects and change how transportation funds are distributed. The new formula will emphasize projects with the greatest need.

But NCDOT officials are still working on Rea Road Extension plans. The project would extend Rea Road from its current terminus at Providence Road to connect with Weddington Road near Twelve Mile Creek. It would also widen the extended road all the way to Waxhaw-Indian Trail Road.

“This is still a preliminary data-gathering session,” NCDOT Communications Officer Jen Thompson said. “We met with local officials this afternoon and with this public during this session. We’re just here to answer their questions about the project and the timeline.”

Currently, construction is scheduled to begin in 2015. NCDOT officials still need to do environmental assessments of the area and consider alternatives.

“The project as appropriated was to build another location for the road,” NCDOT Roadway Design Unit Engineer Greg Brew said. “But you can’t really look at just one footprint. We look at everything in the area so that if the prefered footprint doesn’t work out, we don’t have to send crews back out here to do all that again.”

Local reaction to the road has been mixed. The road’s proposed route would cut close to a gated community. Most residents welcome a road that would shorten their work commute to and from Charlotte. Others residents want to keep the area rural.

Until the NCDOT re-prioritization is complete, officials are uncertain if the project will move forward as planned.

“What we don’t know now is where and when this project could fall into the new ranking of regional projects,” Brew said.