The first of several road improvements has begun at UNC Charlotte. Over the next 18 months, these projects will:
- Realign Phillips Road so it flows into Craver Road (under way).
- Improve campus entrances from Harris and University City boulevards.
- Signalize and improve the Cameron Boulevard-Mary Alexander Road intersection.
- Add sidewalks and bike lanes on three roads.
And by the way, the project starts are staggered to avoid adding to the campus traffic congestion.
Funding comes from several sources. Charlotte, the state and UNC Charlotte pooled $500,000 each to pay for the two entrance improvements. Several projects include bike lanes – an important feature since university planners say that there’s been a tremendous increase in bike use on campus in the last two years.
Phillips Road realignment – This project will eliminate UNC Charlotte’s mini-version of San Francisco – the tire-burning intersection of Phillips Road and Cameron Boulevard. Work started recently to reroute the road around the north side of the Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex near Toby Creek and have it flow into Craver Road where it currently ends at Cameron.
The new intersection will have a traffic signal. Construction will require a yearlong detour of Toby Creek Greenway that includes a steep climb to Richardson Stadium.
Greenway users will likely appreciate the end result, since a new bridge will carry busy Phillips Road over the greenway and eliminate the current sidewalk crossing. The project should be finished before the start of the 2015 football season.
Cameron Boulevard signalized entrance on University City Boulevard – Construction should start next March to add a traffic light, pedestrian crossing signals and additional turn lanes at the Cameron Boulevard intersection with University City Boulevard. The project will also widen Cameron to a boulevard and add a median, sidewalk and bike lane from University City Boulevard to Alumni Way (previously called Toby Creek Road). The traffic signal will also serve the small office park across University City Boulevard.
Harris Boulevard turn lane at Alumni Way – Also next spring, work will begin on a “left-over” turn lane onto campus for traffic heading toward University City Boulevard on W.T. Harris Boulevard. Similar turn lanes have existed for a decade or more at entrances to Grande Promenade and CMC-University.
Cameron Boulevard-Mary Alexander Road intersection improvements – This key intersection will get a traffic signal and left-turn lanes. Work will start next fall after the Phillips Road project is finished.
Streetscape improvements on Mary Alexander and Craver roads – The full length of Craver Road from the new intersection with Phillips Road to the intersection at Mary Alexander road will get new sidewalks and bike lanes, as will Mary Alexander Road from Craver to Cameron Boulevard. Mary Alexander Road already has bike lanes and sidewalks from Cameron to Mallard Creek Church Road.
East campus improvements ahead?
Advance planning has begun for street improvements on the east side of campus. These might include a signalized intersection at Cameron Boulevard and John Kirk Road.