As part of the proposed project to widen N.C. 73 from N.C. 115 (Old Statesville Road) in Mecklenburg County to and U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s project team has developed a Purpose & Need Statement, a document required both under state law and as part of the project development process. The purpose is as follows:
The purpose of the project is to increase mobility between Davidson-Concord Road (S.R. 2693) and I-85 and between U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) and I-85, reduce congestion at the intersections, improve traffic operations along N.C. 73 with an operational target of level of service (LOS) D in the 2040 design year, and provide bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
Mobility is related to traffic flow of through traffic.
The level of service (LOS) of a roadway is the measure of its traffic carrying ability. Levels of service range from A to F, “A” being the best scenario with unrestricted maneuverability and operating speeds, and “F” being the worst scenario where travel on a roadway is characterized by “stop and go” conditions.
Proposed improvements to N.C. 73 from N.C. 115 (Old Statesville Road) in Mecklenburg County to U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) in Cabarrus County would involve:
- Widening N.C. 73 from two to four lanes from N.C. 115 (Old Statesville Road) to Davidson-Concord Road in Mecklenburg County
- Widening N.C. 73 from two to four lanes from Davidson-Concord Road in Mecklenburg County to U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) in Cabarrus County
N.C. 73 Widening from N.C. 115 (Old Statesville Road) to Davidson-Concord Road in Mecklenburg County (R-2632AB)
This project is a “best-fit” widening along N.C. 73; meaning the alignment will shift between one side of the road to the other side to reduce impacts that may result if the widening occurred entirely on one side. This project includes a realignment of June Washam Road to incorporate improvements to the intersection of N.C. 73 and Davidson-Concord Road.
The best-fit widening includes curb-and-gutter, two 12-foot wide travel lanes in each direction and a 30-foot wide raised median. A 10-foot wide multi-use path will be provided on both sides of the road for bicyclists and pedestrians between Parr Drive and Davidson-Concord Road. Reduced conflict intersections (RCI) are proposed at Parr Drive, Jamesburg Drive, New Birth Drive, Willow Breeze Lane, Westmoreland Road, Mayes Road, and Davidson-Concord Road. The proposed roadway would be four lanes and have bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. The final environmental document was approved in September 2019 and the project has moved into design.
N.C. 73 Widening from Davidson-Concord Road in Mecklenburg County to U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) in Cabarrus County (R-5706)
The N.C. Department of Transportation evaluated four design alternatives for this project:
- Alternative 1 (Modified) would involve widening N.C. 73 from Davidson-Concord Road to U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) and building a bridge adjacent to the south of the existing causeway over Howell Reservoir.
- Alternative 2 would involve widening the existing N.C. 73 from Davidson-Concord Road to U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) and widening the existing causeway over Howell Reservoir.
- Alternative 3 would involve widening N.C. 73 from Davidson-Concord Road to approximately 1,700 feet west of the N.C. 73 and Odell School Road intersection, at which point the road would be relocated to the south. The relocated road would extend along Odell School and Untz roads before rejoining N.C. 73 approximately 1,300 feet east of the N.C. 73 and Riding School Lane intersection. The “best-fit” widening would resume until ending at U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North).
- Alternative 4 would involve widening N.C. 73 from Davidson-Concord Road to approximately 800 feet east of the N.C. 73 and Odell School Road intersection, at which point the road would be relocated to the south before rejoining N.C. 73 at the intersection of N.C. 73 and La Forest Lane. The “best-fit” widening would resume until ending at U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North). Alternative 4 shifts the road less south compared to the realignment option in Alternative 3.
NCDOT is working with its regional, state, and federal agency partners to select Alternative 1 (Modified) as the Preferred Alternative. During further planning activities, the following notable changes have been made to the project design:
- Alignment shift to avoid impacts to historic properties and cemeteries in Mecklenburg County.
- Change from sidewalks and bike lanes to multi-use paths between Poplar Tent Road and I-85.
- Poplar Tent Road intersection changes to a RCI.
- Kannapolis Parkway intersection changed to include a quadrant in the northeast, a ramp in the southeast, and a larger quadrant in the southwest.
- Change from a 2-lane bridges to a 4-lane bridge and alignment shifted slightly south to minimize impacts to the reservoir.
NCDOT will use four-lane roadway sections to accommodate future traffic volumes. NCDOT has worked with local planning staff from municipalities along the corridor to develop bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, including sidewalks, multi-use paths, and bicycle lanes.
Innovative intersection concepts have been designed along both projects at the following intersections: Davidson-Concord Road, Poplar Tent Road, Odell School Road, Kannapolis Parkway, International Drive NW, Winecoff School Road and Central Drive NW.