INDIAN TRAIL – Development is expected to begin now that the Monroe Expressway is open in Union County but any future road projects around the new 18-mile four-lane toll road will now probably follow that development.
Indian Trail and Union County got together a little over a year ago to develop a more focused planning effort near the expressway to better plan for future growth. What they came up with is now called the Secrest Short Cut and Monroe Expressway Small Area Plan. Both the Indian Trail Town Council and the Union County Board of Commissioners have since unanimously adopted the plan, which encompasses 1,323 acres in the plan area.
One of the plan’s goals is to “provide an integrated, well-connected adequate capacity roadway system throughout the study area.”
“There are no other funded projects in the area,” said Union County Transportation Planner Bjorn Hansen. “It is always a reaction to growth. We never get them funded and built in advance of growth.”
Secrest Short Cut Road runs alongside the new toll road in the study area and Indian Trail and Union County officials will continue to advocate for its widening, which could include multi lanes with a planted median and turn lanes where appropriate. Some of the area wedged between Secrest Short Cut Road and the new expressway has been designated in the study plan as an employment zone.
“Secrest has been identified as being needed to be multi-lane,” Hansen said “It’s not funded, it is not funded for the near future. There are no plans for it to be funded right now.”
Other transportation goals in the small area plan include:
• Widening of Unionville-Indian Trail Road to a four-lane boulevard cross section from Sardis Church Road to Rocky River Road.
• Widening of Rocky River Road to a four-lane boulevard cross section from U.S. 74 to Unionville-Indian Trail Road.
Local officials plan to conduct a traffic analysis of the interchanges on the new toll road in late spring or early summer that will update traffic counts and changes in travel behaviors. Identified improvements will then be prioritized and funding will be sought from Charlotte Region Transportation Planning Organization, NCDOT, Indian Trail and Union County,
“As demand increases and it is identified as a needed project, we the county works with municipalities and the DOT and we put together segments that are the most needed and try to get them funded,” Hansen said. “That is how the system works.”