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By Cigi Sparks, O-N-E Reporter

The widening process of Hwy. 16, to provide a more accessible route from Charlotte to Newton and vice versa, has officially begun. 

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently began talking to owners about purchasing parcels of land along the project areas.

The widening of Hwy. 16 involves two projects - from Tower Road to Caldwell Road and from Caldwell Road to Claremont Road, according to NCDOT Spokesperson Jordan-Ashley Walker.  The two strips of roadway will be widened from two lanes to four lanes.

The NCDOT recently approached the owner of the land and business at 3152 Hwy. 10 South in Newton, asking to purchase the parcel, according to the current occupants of the building.  The business that is at that location is Country Corner Consignment Shop.

"About 99 percent of people that live on this road and in this area around here aren't happy about this happening," said consignment shop owner and building occupant, Travis Docalavich.  Docalavich, along with his business partner April Parlier, have been running Country Corner Consignment from the location on Hwy. 16 since November.

"I think that the biggest complaint about all this is that they're taking people's houses and that people are afraid that the new road is going to be dangerous," Docalavich said.  "There are pluses and minuses to everything though."

The owner of the land and building that is being occupied by the consignment store plans to fight the NCDOT purchase in court, according to the occupants.  The owner wants to keep the land because it's a prime location and he hopes to pass it on to his children some day, according to the occupants.

Other businesses along Hwy. 16 include Jones Fish Camp, Christian Tours, Buffalo Shoals IGA, Shirley's Cakes Candies and Supplies, Citgo Foodmart, The Lucky Lizard Bar and Billiards, and more.

"I have not been contacted about the store," said Buffalo Shoals IGA personnel Laban Helderman.

For the first half of the widening project (R3100A), from Tower Road to Caldwell Road, will impact 160 separate properties, according to  Walker.

The second half of the project (R3100B), from Caldwell Road to Claremont Road, will impact 109 properties.  In total, it is expected that 269 properties will be impacted by the widening, according to Walker

NCDOT Right of Way personnel began making contact with property owners to inquire about purchasing land in January of 2015, according to Walker.

"All right of way for the R3100A project that stretches from North Tower Road to Claremont Road is to be certified by Aug. 15 - certified meaning the property has been acquired and cleared by the department.  38 structures were acquired that involved relocation.  The let date is scheduled for Nov. 15," Walker said.  "All right of way for project R3100B, which picks up at Claremont Road to north of Caldwell Road toward Newton, is to be certified by Oct. 17.  There are 22 structures that will need to be acquired for this project.  The let date is Jan. 17, 2017.  The scheduled construction completion dates will be specified in the contracts depending on the size and scope of the projects.  All dates are subject to change."

A "let date" is when a project is awarded to a contractor and when construction can officially begin.

Construction is scheduled to take place on Hwy. 16 during the 2017-18 Fiscal Year. 

Comments

  1. Anonymous's avatar
    Anonymous
    | Permalink
    The widening of this end of 16 is going to destroy the things I and every one else around here loves
  2. Cathy McClellan's avatar
    Cathy McClellan
    | Permalink
    I live in Newton and travel back and forth to Denver very frequently. My greatest concern is about the DOT being VERY thorough in creating EXTREMELY safe road conditions for drivers in cars, remaining home owners that will now have to deal with speeding tractor trailer trucks whizzing by their homes at close proximity, and pedestrians and animals that will inevitably be crossing this new, more dangerous highway.<br /> <br /> Traffic lights will need to remain as they have been at the various intersections unless the DOT will be doing the same stupid turn-offs and entry ramps that they did from Jones fish camp on into Charlotte. That means that there will be nothing to slow down the cars and trucks from Charlotte to Newton. And we all know that every driver around here strictly obeys the speed limit signs.<br /> <br /> My greatest concern is traffic safety and that is is bent toward the greatest level of safety for the neighborhoods this road passes through {many of the trucks flying down the roads around here carry toxic and volatile cargo.} Just on the short stretch of road on NC 10 west where I live in Newton, there have been 3 traffic deaths THAT happened in a one year period (2015 to 2016)due to one car driving TOO FAST, driver losing control and flipping his car and dying. And a semi tractor trailer driving TOO FAST on the same EXACT stretch of road here on NC 10 west which, smashed into a small car with two people inside. The car was tossed and thrown up and down with smash after smash against the asphalt as it was flipped multiple times as the truck cab pushed it down the highway till it finally came to rest upside down [young married couple inside DEAD] and the tractor trailer continued careening across three front yards of the homes on that side of the highway and finally stopping after deeply gouging out the front yards.<br /> <br /> I use these true stories as an example of the potential threat to life and property along these rural highways from large trucks traveling TOO FAST. And the danger to bad drivers and their potential victims who insist on driving too fast while being distracted by phones and car computers.<br /> <br /> DOT - make very sure that you will take the steps with this highway expansion to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the residents, property, and the commuters who must use this highway every day and that it is your ABSOLUTE HIGHEST PRIORITY. Don't give into the pressures of the trucking industries and companies that take this route to increase the posted speed limit. Right now the highest speed limit on the route along the expansion area is 55 MPH. It MUST stay at this speed even though there will be two lanes in each direction. Even at 55 MPH vehicles are continually moving at 60 to 70 MPH. It is the RARE driver who obeys any speed limit in NC but especially on Hwy 16 between Charlotte and Newton. If you raise the limit to the 60 and 65 as it is on the stretch between Jones Fish Camp and Charlotte on the, there WILL be many deaths. Now vehicles will be travel at 70 to 85 MPH and the highest speed limit on that stretch is 65. I see this every day when I go to and from Denver. If the SHP would do more to ticket the speeders, maybe the message would be clear to the truckers that they are not above the law. Also the people in those high end luxury cars who think they are also above the law and can endanger everyone else on the road if they want to need to be ticketed aggressively.<br /> <br /> Biggest concern: MAKE THIS NEW SECTION OF HWY 16 SAFE FOR ALL OF US. BE MORE CONCERNED FOR HUMAN LIFE THAN FOR THE ALL-MIGHT DOLLAR.
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