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Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:57

Waynesville to put South Main on the drawing board

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The town of Waynesville is dusting off the drafting table, ready to launch a community planning initiative to shape the future look and feel of South Main Street.

The area has been primed for growth by the recent addition of Waynesville Commons, where Best Buy and Super Wal-Mart are located, and Belk’s is soon to move. Plans for upgrading the roads dated appearance and reconfiguring it to handle more traffic have been in the works for several years.

The town has now received a grant to launch a plan for the corridor from the French Broad River Metropolitan Organization.

A public interest meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 28, at the Town of Waynesville satellite office on Brown Avenue in Hazelwood.

The town has hired a consulting team to develop a corridor plan that will forecast future travel demand and to propose a roadway design.

Final designs could include extra lanes, intersection redesigns to accommodate existing and projected traffic, sidewalks or landscaped medians.

When the topic was debated two years ago and a feasibility study was done by the DOT, three options were proffered as solutions for the road.

One would keep the same two-lane structure, another would add a middle turn lane and the most drastic would create a four-lane, boulevard-type affair, with a raised median, street trees and bike lanes. This last option would call for a 120-foot right-of-way, essentially razing the buildings on either side of the street.

At the time, public opinion was split on the issue. Since the feasibility study was completed, no major steps have been taken on the corridor plan.

In addition to being a professional study of travel demand and facility design, the planning process is expected to engage stakeholders including the property owners and business owners, representatives of NCDOT and the community as a whole in a the future design of the area.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation draft feasibility study is available at the Town of Waynesville’s Website, www.townofwaynesville.org.

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