McCrory’s visit to dedicate Catawba avenue bridge postponed

Left side: Rendering as distributed by town in November shows more cables. Left shows the towns rendering. Right shows picture from Exit 28 Ridiculousness Facebook Page

Left side: Rendering as distributed by town in November shows more cables. Left shows the towns rendering. Right shows picture from Exit 28 Ridiculousness Facebook Page


Plans for Gov. Pat McCrory to dedicate the Catawba Avenue bridge over I-77 any time soon may have been thrown under the bus by a hail of criticism of the so-called “aesthetic improvements” portion of the bridge re-do.



When completed the bridge will have new landscaping, abutments and special lanterns, lending a nautical feel to the new gateway to Cornelius. Indeed, McCrory and NC Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz were expected to help christen the bridge in late January or early February.

But the outpouring of criticism of a bridge too incomplete seems to have some local leaders hoping either the mood changes or work is completed soon. Much of it has occurred on the “Exit 28 Ridiculousness” Facebook page.

Even NC Sen. Jeff Tarte has weighed in, saying: “EVERYONE recognizes the design of the masts at Exit 28 falls woefully short of expectations.” There are six decorative cables on both inboard sides of the masts, although renderings circulated by town staff as late as November at a Bailey’s Glen citizen meeting showed eight.

In mid-January, Mayor Chuck Travis said the mast and cable installation is the “first enhancement with the masonry walls and landscaping features to follow. In addition, we included money to bury all the power/utility lines, purchase mast arms for the signals, decorative lighting to match Catawba Avenue, etc.”

The trees that obscure the sides of the bridge will also be removed.

The governor’s visit was to be the inaugural effort of the state’s “Art That Moves You” program, according to Travis. He made the announcement at a Newsmakers Breakfast hosted by Business Today and Cornelius Today.

“Our Gateway to Cornelius bridge structure, which will be installed after the holidays, has been chosen to serve as the prototype for this new state program designed to encourage more creativity and originality in areas such as bridge design,” Travis said.

“The program’s goal is to urge citizens and officials not to do typical bridges and structures, and we’re proud that Cornelius will be in the forefront of this statewide effort.”



Jeff Tarte

NC State Senator

Jeff Tarte I for one apprentice* [sic} Amanda and her initiative to encourage dialogue around our infrastructure projects. Having lived here for 23 years when W Catawba was a two lane road with no businesses I have watched a ton of change occur. 95% of you came here after me. We all just showed up on “LKN’s doorstep.” Driving along this corridor has never been aesthetically pleasing. Nothing is going to make this the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our local elected officials and town staffs have many challenges to balance. Knowing all of these electeds and town staffs I know them to be thoughtful and professional folks. There are significant issues facing the state and towns regarding funding future road projects. Get engaged or stay engaged. Your elected officials actually do listen to all of you, if the conversation and information exchange is courteous and does not digress into name calling. Keep sharing your thoughts I read your comments. EVERYONE recognizes the design of the masts at exit 28 falls woefully short of expectations. Last, we will keep addressing our day-to-day issues while recognizing LKN is truly one of the most fantastic places to live on this planet.

Cornelius resident Amanda Mandy started the Exit 28 Ridiculousness page on Facebook. It has 1,740 followers.

*Autocorrect apparently changed the word appreciate to apprentice


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