Lewisville-Clemmons Road getting closer to final design
Published 12:10 am Thursday, January 26, 2023
NCDOT, project manager reviewing alternatives for busy highway
It’s been a long and sometimes winding road for NCDOT’s Lewisville-Clemmons Road improvements project, but a decision on the final design is apparently just around the corner.
Connie James, project engineer, said that all the comments from last fall’s public meeting at River Oaks Community Church were reviewed after residents were given an opportunity to look at maps and other information offering alternatives for project manager Kimley-Horn on how to proceed.
At stake is a massive undertaking involving Project U-6004, which is better known for proposed improvements on the busy stretch of Lewisville-Clemmons Road — including the I-40 interchange — from Peach Haven Road to U.S. 158.
“Back in December, we had a consultant do a value assessment of this project based on the designs that were presented at the public meeting,” James said, “and they gave feedback and different options. And so, the reason it’s taking longer than normal to get to the point of having recommendations is waiting for them to complete that assessment.”
However, that time is drawing closer, perhaps in the next couple of weeks, according to James, who joined NCDOT in December 2017 and assumed the role as project engineer at that time.
In the fact sheet for the Sept. 22 meeting, it was stated that the primary purpose of this project was to address safety issues for drivers and pedestrians along Lewisville-Clemmons Road by improving traffic flow and reducing traffic delays, particularly through the I-40 interchange.
At the time, Pat Ivey, the longtime District 9 engineer who oversees all NCDOT projects in Forsyth, Davie, Davidson, Rowan and Stokes counties, said that “it’s a committed project, on the schedule and ready to go” with an overall cost estimate of over $40 million.
The proposed design for the Lewisville-Clemmons Road improvements project included two alternatives for the bridge over I-40 — one for actually widening the bridge to make a standard size sidewalk and the other being building a parallel pedestrian bridge on the east side of the interstate.
Then there were a couple of options on navigating the entrance at the Westwood Village shopping center and the intersection at Stadium Drive, including possibly taking the McDonalds property to make more room to create safer movements.
The proposal presented included slightly more median than originally anticipated going beyond Stadium Drive because of congestion issues and then putting in a U-turn movement while heading south near Wells Fargo with a left-turn lane for traffic to go back to the north.
Of course, adding a median has been a major issue for the heavily traveled road for years, including the 2017 municipal election when a mayor and three council members were elected in Clemmons largely on a “no median” platform.
The previous NCDOT public meeting on Lewisville-Clemmons Road improvements was held in July 2018, only a couple of months before a council meeting where the board approved allocating Transportation Advisory Committee points to the project, stating a need for a safer road and hoping for more in-depth research into the design and implementation with local input.
NCDOT recommended that a median be placed from I-40 to Stadium Drive, which was only 20 percent of the entire corridor. Ivey said at the time that all the preliminary findings showed the shorter median for the busiest stretch of the road to be the best option.
It was interesting to note, James said, that in the most recent public meeting, there was “a lot of positive support (for a median). There were comments that were made that they think the median is needed down the whole stretch of Lewisville-Clemmons Road to 158.”
Also, the project addresses the intersection at the south end of the highway, where there is a proposal of adding a double left turn from Lewisville-Clemmons Road onto U.S. 158 and another lane up to Spangenberg Avenue.
Getting to this point has taken a lot longer than expected because of NCDOT funding shortfalls and COVID in recent years, but plans for the next step for Lewisville-Clemmons Road appear to be near.
“We’re going to be working hard on final designs after we have the selected alternatives,” James said.