Opinion: Lewisville lends helping hand to Bermuda Run

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 4, 2024

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Toward the end of the June meeting of the Lewisville Town Council meeting, Mayor Mike Horn casually made a comment that could have stayed under the radar, but it could pay huge dividends for nearby Bermuda Run.

You might just call it “Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”

It actually involves the current cycle for the 2026-2035 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Development Plan where Bermuda Run ranks No. 1 on the current Winston-Salem Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Prioritization 7.0 list in points for seeking funding from NCDOT for a much-needed widening project involving N.C. 801 (see story, Page 1).

Horn told the council that since Lewisville didn’t have any projects in this particular process, which has a public comment period running through July 15 before decisions are made on a list of 35, he thought the town had an opportunity to build some goodwill.

“And in fact, we did that,” Horn said of checking first with NCDOT, and Division 9 before reaching out to some communities who had projects in the works. “The town of Bermuda Run said, ‘Yes please, we would love to be able to apply your points to the widening of N.C. 801.’ So we had a very gracious and appreciative community across the river who can use our points since we couldn’t use them. Hopefully, it will advance their cause and help their transportation project as well.”

So, Bermuda Run, with its top ranking on the WSUAMPO list of local point assignment for Project H184620, would widen N.C. 801 to a multi-lane roadway with bike lanes and sidewalks at a cost to NCDOT of $49.8 million.

Horn is well versed on these matters as he serves as the chairman of the Transportation Advisory Committee and is Lewisville’s TAC representative.

He said that every two years the state goes through a prioritization process for all road, pedestrian and transit projects that have been submitted by municipalities and NCDOT Divisions for funding. Points are award-based on a number of factors such as traffic safety, air quality, congestion mitigation and a number of other factors, and part of the point process allows each municipality to award 40 points to its own project or to any project in its division that it wants to support.

Horn also pointed out that the mayors of Lewisville, Bermuda Run (Mike Brannon) and Clemmons (Mike Rogers) — The Three Mikes — meet on a regular basis to talk about the things that are going on their towns. 

“This has created a very collegial relationship and one that encourages us to support each other when appropriate,” said Horn while admitting that this was a one-time allocation and does not affect future projects that Lewisville may wish to submit. “I’m confident that in future prioritization rounds should Bermuda Run not have a project under consideration they will consider returning the courtesy.

“By the way, there are a number of other funding sources for road, pedestrian and transit projects other than through the state prioritization funding process. Our point allocation does not impact those other funding sources.”

Meanwhile, Brannon, who is Bermuda Run’s TAC representative, talked about Horn reaching out to him to see what the project was hoping to accomplish and agreed to apply Lewisville’s points to his neighbor.

“So, clearly, partnerships and collaboration are critical when working to obtain prioritization and funding for projects,” Brannon said. “Not only do I appreciate these partnerships, they have my commitment to do I what I can to help them if/when the need arises. To me, this is what real partnership means.”

• • • •

With yet another winter without any snow, I keep dreaming about seeing some of the elusive white stuff, particularly in these broiling days of temperatures in the 90s with tropical humidity.

And it looks like I’m going to get my wish — well, sort of.

It’s the first Christmas in July next Saturday, July 12, at 6 p.m. at the Jerry Long Family YMCA where there will be ice skating, holiday music, games, food trucks and the first-ever Clemmons Farmers evening market.

And Shannon Ford, marketing and communication director for the village, has a special guarantee: “There’s a 100 percent chance of snow that night.”

Also, council member Randy Wooden challenged everyone “to come out and put on some ice skates. I plan to lace them up and hope I don’t break a wrist or a hip.”