Kensington closes as school nears

WAXHAW – Repairs on a stretch of Kensington Drive, from Highway 16 to Waxhaw-Marvin Road, began this week and are expected to stretch into the third week of September.

The 30-day closure will address what Town Manager Mike McLaurin called “urgently needed repairs.”

“I understand with the school year starting, that the timing of the closure is not ideal and apologize for the inconvenience,” McLaurin said.

McLaurin said the road has been deteriorating rapidly, and repairs are necessary to prevent a longer closure in the future that would then likely be for even more extensive, expensive repairs.

“During the closure, there will be a number of inspections and repairs completed to the bridge and all parts of the road,” McLaurin said.

The repairs will range from minor to extensive, including: digging new ditches to improve storm water drainage, removing the guard rail, inspecting and repairing the bridge, removing the entire pavement in certain sections, insuring proper soil and stone base compaction and installing new asphalt.

“The road needs to be completely closed to do the proper inspections and repairs in the most timely and efficient manner possible,” McLaurin said.

Kensington is actually a privately owned street and the town cannot maintain it until it is brought up to acceptable standards and is turned over to the town, McLaurin said.

“The road was originally built by Sandler Commercial Properties approximately seven years ago to provide access to the Cureton and Millbridge developments,” McLaurin said. “The road was designed to be a gentle parkway with a design speed of 25 to 35 miles per hour. Instead, the road has become a major thoroughfare with speeds greater than 35 miles per hour.”

McLaurin said this high volume and unexpected use of the road has taken a toll over the seven years and that drivers should be noticing the failures in asphalt and other abnormalities that shouldn’t exist at this point.

Sandler went into foreclosure proceedings in 2008, turning over control of the road to the bank that owns Cureton Twon Center. All access to and maintenance of the road now lies with the bank, McLaurin said.

“The bank has been made aware of the urgency of the road deficiencies and is willing to work with the town to repair the road and turn ownership over to the town,” McLaurin said. “The bank, like the town, wants to make the road safe for everyone.”

To complicate matters further, a portion of the road at the Twelve Mile Creek Treatment Plant is located outside of the town limits. In North Carolina, the town cannot maintain roads that are not within its limits, according to McLaurin.

McLaurin said the town staff has worked for years with the developer, bank, Union County and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to have the road repaired.

“Hundreds of staff hours have been invested in this effort,” he said. “Now we are on the final steps of a journey that began years ago. It is my hope that the project may be completed in less than 30 days and things can get back to normal. Though it will be inconvenient for a short time, the end goal is to make the road safer for everyone and better maintained.”

For more information, contact the Waxhaw Public Services Department at 704-843-7439 or contact Waxhaw Town Manager Mike McLaurin directly at 704-843-2195, ext. 225, or email mmclaurin@waxhaw.com.

Detour routes are Greg Byrum Road to Waxhaw-Marvin Road and Pine Oak Road to Waxhaw-Marvin Road.

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