Special to Iredell Free News

Last year the Town of Troutman hired the consulting firm Stantec to undertake the Troutman Alternatives Study. The goal of the study was to evaluate the various alternatives available that would relieve the traffic congestion on US 21/NC 115 (Main Street) that is projected to worsen considerably in the future as the town continues to grow.

The consultant worked with a 16-member advisory committee to evaluate several alternatives, including building a northeast bypass, building a southwest bypass, widening and improving Main Street, and making improvements to the existing street network. Doing nothing was also evaluated as an alternative.

After reviewing the costs of each alternative and looking at the impacts each alternative would have on community assets such as environmental features, historic properties, and farmland, and considering the transportation travel time savings each alternative would create, the committee reached consensus that improving and widening Main Street was preferred over the other alternatives.

The advisory committee received the final study report recommendations in November and made several minor changes. The goal now is for the study to be reviewed by the Town Planning & Zoning Board, who will make a recommendation to the Town Board, who could adopt the recommendations as Town policy.

Unfortunately the COVID-19 restrictions around indoor public gatherings make it impossible for the Planning & Zoning Board to meet presently, but there is still an opportunity for members of the public to review the report and to offer comments or ask questions, which will then be shared with the Planning & Zoning Board before their next meeting.

One simple way to review the report is to visit the Town website at www.troutmannc.gov, and look along the left-hand margin on the home page for the Troutman Alternatives Study. The study report is posted in this area, as is a link to a Town mailbox where questions and comments may be left that can be shared with Planning & Zoning once they are able to meet and discuss the study.

The Town Planning & Zoning Board and the Troutman Town Board are tentatively scheduled to take this matter up in early 2021. Comments left in the mailbox will be shared by staff with board boards.

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