Design alternative selected for Lewisville-Clemmons Road
Published 12:10 am Thursday, February 23, 2023
Improvements project includes changes to I-40 bridge, taking out McDonald’s
After all these years, at last there’s a final design for the Lewisville-Clemmons Road improvements project.
Following a public meeting held on Sept. 22 at River Oaks Community Church in Clemmons to give residents an opportunity to look at maps and other information along with asking questions to representatives from NCDOT and project manager Kimley-Horn on the proposed design, Connie James, project engineer, said that all the details are now in place to move forward with Project U-6004.
“For this project, we’re looking to go to right-of-way acquisition at the end of this year, December 2023, with the start of construction in May 2026,” she said.
James provided some highlights from the final decisions for the corridor on the busy stretch of Lewisville-Clemmons Road from Peace Haven Road to Clemmons Road, including choosing Option B to keep the existing I-40 bridge with some changes to improve pedestrian accessibility and mobility.
“We’ve gone through our value engineering assessment, and one of the recommendations that came out of that was looking at the existing bridge where we’ve had the 12-foot lanes and 4-foot sidewalks,” James said, “and their recommendation was that by narrowing the travel lanes from 12 feet to 11 feet, we’d be able to widen the sidewalks to 7 feet on each side without widening the structure to improve the pedestrian accommodations — so that’s like a million dollar savings.”
James said that another recommendation that will help operations at the I-40 interchange is “a right-turn, free-flow lane if you’re going north on Lewisville-Clemmons Road making a right onto I-40 Eastbound, you wouldn’t stop at the signal anymore. You would have your own lane and merge onto the interstate without stopping.”
Along the most hectic stretch of the road from I-40 extending down past the shopping center with Lowes Foods as the primary anchor to Wells Fargo Bank, there are numerous changes with signals and movements. However, the most noticeable visible difference will be the existing McDonald’s eventually closing to make room for the looping connector that is proposed to go there through the Stadium Drive intersection.
With those traffic and operations improvements, James said that going with Option B illustrates “the public meeting map showing that whole area being acquired for right of way. It will impact the business to the point where it won’t be functional there.
“For the right of way, there will be an appraisal to the impacts of that and then negotiations on those impacts and if there is a relocation, which is fairly certain, then they will get relocation benefits as well as the compensation for the existing building location.”
James said that the traffic signal light that is in place today at the Stadium Drive intersection will remain with all movements allowed.
Just south of that area, a new signal will be added with a U-turn lane where northbound traffic will be stopped to give vehicles the opportunity to make that maneuver while the other southbound traffic will continue to proceed southbound.
Heading north beyond the Stadium Drive intersection, traffic will proceed through the intersection, which is being called “Shopping Drive 1,” with Taco Bell and Bojangles on that side McDonalds and Krispy Kreme on the other side — and will include the elimination of that traffic signal. It will become a right-in and right-out only on each side of the road.
Continuing north toward I-40, a new signal will be added at Sessions Court and, extending across the street, to what is now called “Shopping Drive 2” between Mi Pueblo and Verizon.
For those turning into Sessions to enter Wendy’s or Biscuitville from the south, there is a left-in, but for those entering or exiting from Sessions on the other side, it will be right-in and right-out only with no left because of a median that will be in place there.
On the other side of the road, there will be a right-out from the drive between Mi Pueblo and Verizon, but for those coming from the north, there is a left-in at the driveway.
James said that will “look like a regular signalized intersection with a median in the center of it” — adding that much of the busiest section from I-40 to the U-turn location near Wells Fargo has a median but that there are breaks either for full access at Stadium Drive or breaks for certain movements such as at Sessions Court and Shopping Drive 2.
Also, the project addresses the intersection at the south end of the road, where there is a double left turn from Lewisville-Clemmons Road onto U.S. 158 and another lane being added up to Spangenberg Avenue.
James mentioned that the existing median that starts around CVS and Starbucks will be extended a little bit farther to address “people driving on the wrong side of the road and turning left into Starbucks.”
In addition, James said that sidewalks will be placed on both sides of Lewisville-Clemmons Road from north of U.S. 158 all the way through the project corridor to Peace Haven Road, where an exclusive right-turn lane will be added.
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.
“What we’re looking at addressing isn’t capacity specifically, although what we’re doing will help improve the operations through the interchange area, but really it will be a big safety benefit,” James said.
Although this project has commanded much of the focus locally for years, the Kinnamon Road bridge replacement (BR-0075) also is looming, and plans have been coordinated with NCDOT to avoid conflicts with scheduling.
Amy Flyte, assistant manager in Clemmons, said in the village’s recent retreat that the Kinnamon Road bridge replacement had been moved up so that it can be completed before construction begins on the Lewisville-Clemmons Road improvement project (U-6004).
James said that the plan is to close the road on both sides so the Kinnamon Road bridge can be removed faster than trying to build a temporary structure and detour traffic — and then build the permanent bridge.
“We looked at the impacts and got input from Emergency Services and from our traffic folks and, of course, Lewisville-Clemmons Road would be the detour during that time,” she said. “So we would not want those projects going on at the same time and putting more pressure on Lewisville-Clemmons Road.”
Right-of-way acquisition for the Kinnamon Road bridge will begin this September with a January 2025 let date for what is a projected to be an 18- to 24-month project with the road closure.
James provided the preliminary cost estimates for the two projects:
U-6004 — Lewisville-Clemmons Road — $22,300,000 Construction, $2,600,000 Utility Relocation, $15,400,000 Right of Way
BR-0075 — Kinnamon Road Bridge — $7,800,000 Construction $700,000 for Utility Relocations and Right of Way.