Rea Rd. widening project in early stages - | WBTV Charlotte

Rea Rd. widening project in early stages, neighbors have mixed opinions

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Three months into the Rea Road widening project in Ballantyne, neighbors have mixed feelings about the construction and the eventual outcome.

It's not unusual for excavators to roll across what used to be Tracy Ford's front yard.

"The kids like it," said Ford. "They get to see all the big machines, but that's about as far as the fun goes."

Ford's home borders Rea Road. The project caused his family to lose about 20 feet of yard space and half of the driveway.

"It's nice not having to cut as much grass!" said Ford.

He may have a sense of humor, but he's not a huge fan of the $22 million project, which will add a median, sidewalks, and bike lanes on Rea Road from Colony Road to Highway 51.

"I think the money could be spent on other things," said Ford.

Other neighbors told WBTV the construction was a huge disruption, but they were excited to have bike lanes and space to walk.

In the meantime, construction and the resulting traffic backups cause headaches for commuters and make it difficult for residents to get in and out of their homes. Ford is worried it won't be much better when the project is finished. The new median will force his family to make U-turns every day in order to get to and from home.

While the project is meant to be pleasing to the eye, it's also supposed to prevent car accidents.

"They're supposed to be taking away some of the blind spots.  But it's still not going to keep people from pulling out in front of people," said Ford.

He does think that a more level road could help prevent some car accidents, but he wants to see drivers slow down either way.

The project is expected to take up to two years to complete.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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