The year-long improvement project along West McLelland Avenue should be completed by the end of April despite the coronavirus bringing many Mooresville and state-led functions to a halt.
That’s according to Jon Young, town engineering services director, who said Tuesday the executive orders Gov. Roy Cooper has issued to stop the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, have not affected town construction projects.
“As a staff and as a municipality, we want to do everything we can to continue the economy moving as much as possible,” Young said. “I think that is a benefit, trying to keep everything going.”
The $3.1 million project began in March 2019 and is a complete reconstruction of the road from N.C. 150 to Broad Street, Young said. That includes new curbs, gutters and the installation of sidewalks on both sides of West McLelland Avenue, he said. Some new storm drainage and water and sewer services were also added as the existing water and sewer groundwork were too shallow for the new infrastructure, Young said.
Construction crews also made improvements to a sharp curve in the road just west of Sherrill Street to meet the road’s posted speed limit, Young said. The curve was made less abrupt and curb and gutter were also added as barriers to protect pedestrians and motorists, he said.
Over the years, McLelland Avenue has become a gateway corridor to downtown Mooresville from N.C. 150, Young said. This additional traffic has caused the road to need updates and improvements, he continued.
“We’ve seen a lot more wear and tear,” Young said. “It’s an older street.”
Although construction has taken just over a year to complete, the project has been in the works since Young began working for the town a decade ago, he said. In 2014, voters approved the issuance of $20 million in general obligation bonds to fund a town streets/sidewalks improvement package, and in 2019, the issuance of $10 million of that initial amount was used to fund the West McLelland improvement project, Young said.
As a lifelong citizen of Mooresville, “seeing the change already in that corridor is absolutely amazing,” Young said. “It really, really has turned out very well.”
Young said he was excited to finish up the West McLelland Avenue improvement project and move on to its sister project, improvements along West Wilson Avenue. These improvements include a curb and pedestrian path, a pedestrian bridge along West Wilson Avenue from U.S. 21 to Broad Street and the addition of two traffic signals to Academy Street and Lowrance Avenue, according to the town.
“Hopefully, we’ll have just a dramatic a change there,” Young said. “It will be something the citizens will really be proud of.”