Council examines future bridge connectivity

Published 12:10 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

While considering what the NCDOT’s design for Lewisville-Clemmons Road and the I-40 interchange might entail, the Clemmons Village Council also looks forward to seeing how or if connectivity with the Kinnamon Road Bridge could help with capacity and congestion on the busy road.

In fact, Clemmons gladly participated in an interlocal agreement with the City of Winston-Salem for a $100,000 feasibility study through the Winston-Salem Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, which required a 20% local match from Clemmons of $20,000, to review bridge/interchange improvements.

The village figured it was money well spent with a minimal investment to see if the Kinnamon Road Bridge component could be a feasible part of the new I-40 interchange.

The objective, outlined in the feasibility study request from Clemmons, stated: To connect the Lewisville-Clemmons Road interchange and the Kinnamon Road grade crossing to allow I-40 access at Kinnamon Road and Lewisville-Clemmons Road. Currently there is 0.68 miles of spacing between the two crossings. The Federal Highway Administration minimum is one mile. However, if the ramps were connected together using a collector-distributor ramp/road then there is not an increase in the number of influence points (where ramps meet the interstate traffic), plus we can minimize a significant amount of weaving.”

However, Pat Ivey, who heads NCDOT’s Division 9, said that he didn’t think the Federal Highway Administration would consider Kinnamon to be part of the proposed Lewisville-Clemmons Road and I-40 interchange project that received approval from the council last September.

“It would have to be a standalone project,” Ivey said. “It’s not part of the scope of this project. We can do offsite improvements to help mitigate some of the closings of intersections and things like that.

“With the feasibility study, I suppose they wanted to see if it is worthy of submitting and if the federal government would even allow it, but the Federal Highway Administration has not approved partial intersections in a long time, and there’s the close proximity to the other interchange. But hey, maybe it’s worth taking a look.”

Village Manager Scott Buffkin said that Clemmons is willing to explore every option to help with traffic flow and safety involving Lewisville-Clemmons Road and ways to divert traffic elsewhere.

“It can’t hurt to look at it,” Buffkin said of the Kinnamon component. “If nothing else, they’re always looking for shovel-ready projects.”

However, next up will be another meeting soon with the Council — P.J. Lofland and Chris Wrights were the board’s two delegates appointed last year to work with staff and NCDOT going forward.

“We’re hoping to get together with those council people with a lot data,” Ivey said. “The (I-40) interchange is the big thing we’ve been focusing on.”

The parties met in April for the initial discussion of the project after last September’s vote when the Council culminated a lengthy dialogue by approving to be involved in the process with NCDOT on future improvements to Lewisville-Clemmons Road, including a possible median from I-40 to Stadium Drive, and a new interchange at I-40.

As Buffkin stated previously: “We talked through some of the village’s concerns trying to lessen any negative impacts as much as possible, especially preserving access routes for businesses south of the interstate.”

Right-of-way acquisition for the project is scheduled to begin in 2023, followed by construction in 2025.

“There’s plenty of time to get it done, but we’re going to need every bit of it,” Ivey said.