A number of road work projects could be coming to the roads around Elon University, including the extension of the sidewalk along Trollinger Avenue and pipe work on Haggard Avenue.
Elon News Network sat down with Elon Town Manager Rich Roedner to discuss these town-wide projects.
The town of Elon is working on a project that will extend the sidewalk along Trollinger Avenue between the intersections of North Holt Avenue and Church Street. Roedner said the town knows it has been an issue.
“We recognize that it is a safety issue because we have a lot of people walking down that street, there’s no place for them to walk,” Roedner said. “We’re putting in the sidewalks so that there’s a defined area for pedestrians.”
The contract bid for the Trollinger Avenue work is expected to be issued by the town of Elon in an October town council meeting, Roedner said. The estimated start date for construction work will be determined after the formal contract has been negotiated between the town and a contractor.
The town of Elon’s initial Haggard Avenue Corridor Study was approved with a unanimous vote by the town council Sept. 12.
The study is one of the main objectives outlined in the town’s Envision Elon 2040 Plan, which includes numerous recommendations for the town’s road networks. This includes both east and west “gateways” between Burlington and Gibsonville. The study is also meant to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety.
The corridor plan outlines the entire length of Haggard Avenue that falls within Elon’s town limits, stretching from Webb Avenue in Burlington to Burlington Avenue in Gibsonville.
The corridor study was developed and included input from a number of groups, including the Burlington-Graham Metropolitan Planning Organization and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. While this study has been approved and completed, Roedner says that due to a lack of funding and resources some improvements are long-term goals.
According to Roedner, the town will be considering pedestrian accessibility in future projects after complaints surrounding pedestrian access on and around Williamson Avenue as construction progresses on the downtown plaza.
“That was probably not our finest hour to be quite frank,” Roedner said. “We knew we had to deal with pedestrians, we had to be sensitive and we just didn’t follow the details closely enough.”
Roedner said that the downtown plaza is still on track to be completed by Elon University’s Thanksgiving break, barring weather issues.
The town of Elon has also highlighted improvements along Haggard Avenue in the corridor study between North Williamson Avenue and North Oak Street. These include adding a bike lane along the brick wall along the south side of Elon University’s Historic neighborhood, filling in sidewalk gaps, adding pedestrian crossings and adding planted medians.
According to the corridor study, Elon is also aiming to realign the North Oak Street intersection with the potential for a roundabout. Additional intersection improvements can also be expected at North Williamson Avenue, North O’Kelly Avenue, North Antioch Avenue, Manning Avenue and Laurence Street.
The initial study consisted of three phases. The first phase included the span of Haggard between Antioch Avenue and York Road, the second between Antioch Avenue to Burlington Avenue at the University Drive overpass and the third between York Road and the intersection of University Drive and Webb Avenue.
According to Roedner, the town of Elon also signed a contract with Pipeline Utilities, Inc. to replace an aging water line under Haggard Avenue between the intersection of North O’Kelly Avenue and York Road.
According to Roedner, the project is estimated to begin between October and November of this year and is expected to last nine months.
“It’s an undersized line for what it needs to be for the future needs of the university,” Roedner said.
A specific start date has not been chosen for the project, as the town navigates the permit process and Pipeline Utilities gathers materials.
“It’ll probably start with about a two week closure from Williamson to North Atkinson, as they do a lot of work at that intersection of O’Kelly,” Roedner said. “Once they’re out of an area, it will open up to two lanes like it’s always been and the next section will be coned off.”