Proposed improvements by the N.C. Department of Transportation 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
This project will utilize a best-fit widening design along N.C. 73, meaning the alignment will shift between one side of the road and 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 proposed best-fit widening design includes the following improvements:
- Two 12-foot-wide travel lanes in each direction
- A 10-foot-wide multiuse path (for bicyclists and pedestrians) between Parr Drive and Davidson-Concord Road on both sides of the road
- A sidewalk between N.C. 115 and Parr Drive on both sides of the road
The project has been designed as a reduced conflict intersection corridor, with proposed designated left-turn-only lanes from N.C. 73 at Parr Drive, Jamesburg Drive, New Birth Drive, Willow Breeze Lane, Westmoreland Road, Mayes Road and Davidson-Concord Road. The final environmental document (general term used to refer to any required National Environmental Policy Act documents) was approved in September 2019 and the project has moved into final design.
N.C. 73 Widening from Davidson-Concord Road in Mecklenburg County to U.S. 29 (Concord Parkway North) in Cabarrus County
NCDOT studied four design alternatives during the planning phase. NCDOT and its regional, state, and federal agency partners selected Alternative 1 (Modified) as the Preferred Alternative. This would involve widening N.C. 73 between Davidson-Concord Road and U.S. 29 and building a bridge to the south of the existing causeway over Howell Reservoir.
During additional planning activities, the following changes were made to the project design:
- The alignment was shifted to avoid and minimize impacts to historic properties and cemeteries in Mecklenburg County.
- A change was made from including sidewalks and bike lanes to multi-use paths between Poplar Tent Road and I-85.
- Poplar Tent Road intersection was changed to a reduced conflict intersection.
- Kannapolis Parkway intersection was modified to include a quadrant intersection (a type of intersection that redirects left-turning drivers onto a connector road, reducing congestion at the major intersection) in the northeast, a ramp in the southeast and a larger quadrant in the southwest.
- A change was made from a 2-lane bridge to a 4-lane bridge and alignment shifted slightly south to minimize impacts to the reservoir.
- An alignment shift of several U-turn areas and revision to the entrance at Christ the King High School was made.
NCDOT is proposing four-lane roadway sections to accommodate future traffic volume. The department has worked with planning staff from municipalities along the corridor to develop bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, including sidewalks, multi-use paths and bicycle lanes.
The proposed typical sections are:
- From Davidson-Concord Road to I-85, four 12-foot lanes are proposed with a 30-foot median, 10-foot multi-use paths in both directions, and two-foot curb and gutter. The proposed right-of-way width is approximately 120 feet and the proposed construction easement ranges from 30-150 feet. The posted speed limit would be 45 mph.
- From I-85 to U.S. 29, four 11-foot lanes are proposed with a 23-foot median, 5-foot bike lanes in both directions, 5-foot sidewalks in both directions, and a 2-foot curb and gutter. The proposed right of way width is approximately 100 feet and the proposed construction easement ranges from 20-110 feet. The posted speed limit would range between 35 and 45 mph.
Reduced conflict intersections have been designed along both projects at Davidson-Concord Road, Poplar Tent Road, Odell School Road and Winecoff School Road. A bridge and a quadrant left intersection have been designed at Kannapolis Parkway. This type of intersection redirects left–turn movements onto a connector road, improving safety and travel time. North Carolina’s first quadrant left intersection opened in 2012 at N.C. 73 and U.S. 21 in Huntersville.
A bowtie intersection redirects left-turn movements from the main roadway with roundabouts situated on the side street.