By Natalie Anderson

SALISBURY – About three weeks of downtown construction is expected to begin Monday along the Main and Innes streets in preparation for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s September visit to repave the streets.

It takes place every evening, except on Sundays, from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Salisbury City Council members Tuesday approved a $ 146,661 plus incidental charges contract with STS Cable Services of Charlotte to install 2-inch stubby piping along the Main and Innes streets in preparation for NCDOT’s renovation work September. Urban Engineer Wendy Brindle said changes are needed to the traffic lights along this downtown stretch.

In March, councilors approved a two-stage plan for downtown Main Street for a 10-block section of Main Street. NCDOT’s visit to resurfac and re-tire the area includes the first phase of the project, which includes reducing the total number of lanes from four to three and providing a center lane for left turns onto Innes Street from Main Street. In addition, the plan changes parking from the current shallow 30-degree angle to 45 degrees, the same angle planned for the North Church Street side of Bell Tower Green Park.

Each block would have a yellow arrow for left turns. Protected left turns in the shape of green arrows would be used on the square to maximize pedestrian safety.

“In preparation for the change in the stripes on Main Street, we need to make some changes to the lights,” said Brindle. “Our signal infrastructure in the ground and the top of the masts are very old. There is simply no room to pull through new cables that are required for these upgrades. “

The tenders for the project opened on July 8th, with STS Cable Services citing the lowest cost. ALS was trading at $ 206,560 while Carolina Conduit Systems was trading at $ 365,000.

The project also includes the installation of lines at the intersections of Main and Bank as well as Main and Ratsstrasse. Brindle said city officials are calling for construction to begin at the junction of Main and Bank Streets and work towards Council Street. She said installing at these locations will allow signal cables and communications fiber infrastructure to run under Main Street in the future without ruining the newly paved streets.

Brindle said the work must be completed by September 1, as directed by NCDOT, which plans to repeat it after the cheerwine festival scheduled for September 18.

Council members expressed dissatisfaction with NCDOT’s insistence that the work must be done at night.

“This is ridiculous,” Councilor Tamara Sheffield said during the meeting. “We ask people not to sleep for three weeks, except on three Sundays. Everyone who lives there is at their feet. “

Brindle said NCDOT will not allow work on roads during the day due to the traffic on these roads. She added that the city does not have sufficient detour routes for this volume of traffic.

“I think they will do their best to keep the noise down,” said City Manager Lane Bailey. “But the other thing is that in addition to reducing traffic, you would also be closing downtown stores for three weeks if you did. It’s not a good solution anyway, but that’s part of the compromise. “

Sheffield said she believed there might be another solution and called the inconvenience “necessary and terrible at the same time”.

“It doesn’t just get loud. It will be particularly noisy during normal sleeping hours, ”she added.

Mayor Karen Alexander asked if only certain parts of the street could be closed during the works, but Brindle said the NCDOT was “adamant” about building codes. Both Main Street and Innes Street are operated by NCDOT.

Sheffield said the city needs to ensure that contact with all traders and residents in the city center is made through the construction. Brindle said the city was working to get the word out. Alexander demanded in the notice that the building codes come from NCDOT and not from the city.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.