Today’s meeting of the Ballantyne Breakfast Club was all about Roads. *
CHARLOTTE — The Ballantyne area will get some much-needed road improvements to help with heavy congestion over the next one to three years thanks to a tax increment financing proposal by the Bissell Companies. Saturday morning, residents heard updates about the projects at the Ballantyne Breakfast Club. Business owners in attendance say it’s become quite a headache.
“We’re open for breakfast at 8 a.m. and a lot of times people cannot get there because traffic’s backed up going off of 485 or people trying to go Uptown, said Stewart Penick, owner of Terrace Cafe in Ballantyne Village.
Frustrated drivers say it can take sometimes 20 to 30 minutes just to get through the area during rush hour.
“If you live on the south side of 485 and you’re going anytime from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., it’s a huge backup just in that one area, said Penick.
And for businesses and restaurants, it doesn’t help draw in customers, nor does it help draw in new businesses.
“You need more people coming to the area, and when it’s backlogged and it’s backed up for the future, you can’t have growth, so it kind of hinders the area, said Penick.
Which is why, roughly 20 years after building the roads, Bissell Companies is back at it through a tax increment financing proposal to pay for five road improvement projects.
“When we looked at the congestion and we looked at the likelihood that the government could put the investment in the roads as congestion’s grown, we thought it’s not going to happen anytime soon, said Ned Curran, president and CEO of Bissell Companies.
Things such as a bridge from North Community House Road over I-485 and extra turning lanes or lights at intersections should help.
“We see Ballantyne as something that’s been a wonderful success story for this entire region, for this entire state, and we want to keep the engine going, we want to keep the momentum going. These improvements are oriented not just for today, but for 10, 15 years down the road, said Curran.
Curran says it’ll help bring more business to the area, cut down on wrecks and make the commute easier for everyone.
“I think it’s going to relieve a lot of stress on a lot of people. It really is, said Penick.
In addition to these projects, two state-funded projects will also help with congestion in that area. The first will be a flyover for drivers entering the inbound lanes of I-485 from Johnston Road. The other is the I-485 widening project, which will make the interstate four lanes in each direction from I-77 to the Ballantyne Area/Johnston Road exit. Two of the four new lanes, or one in each direction, will be high occupancy toll lanes.
Many of these projects will be completed within a year.
Editor’s Note: This is being published late but we thought it had been deleted!