March 10. By Dave Vieser. A new route for the extension of Northcross Drive would take traffic farther away from the Stratford Forest subdivision which, right now, is not connected by road to the rest of Cornelius. The extension, which is being planned by the NCDOT, will connect Cornelius and Huntersville just west of I-77. Consideration of a third route followed comments by residents at a February public meeting as well as negotiations with the Cook Family, which owns a significant amount of adjacent property.
“This new route would hug the west side of I-77 for a distance, and then turn westward,” said Teresa Gresham of Kimley-Horn. The NCDOT has retained Kimley-Horn to perform the planning and preliminary design for the project. “It would also be designed to connect at a 90 degree angle with a possible future Bailey Road flyover.”
The other two routes under consideration would have taken traffic more northwesterly, closer to the homes in Stratford Forest. All three routes would eventually connect with Eagle Ridge Way, which ends at Westmoreland Road “This newest route actually seems to be the most accepted of the three” Gresham added.
Stratford Forest is a community of 125 homes located north of Sam Furr Road, and west of I-77. It has a Cornelius Zip Code, but is not connected by road to the rest of the town. At the Feb. 13 meeting, a number of its residents had voiced concern over the new road and its proximity to their properties.
The next step in the project’s design is to select a final route and then begin preliminary design work. Gresham expects another public information meeting to be held sometime this fall. The total project cost is estimated at $10.2 million and the town will provide $2.51 million in local matching funds. Construction is expected to begin in 2020.