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2023 Award of Merit: Waxhaw

Updated: Apr 1

Pedestrian Improvement Project

2023 NC Main Street Award: Organization

Best Healthy Communities Initiative

  • Town of Waxhaw

  • Downtown Waxhaw Association

  • Nassiri Development

  • Volkert, Inc.

  • Gresham Smith & Partners

  • NC Department of Transportation

  • Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization

  • Union County Water

A key to having a healthy community is to provide better connectivity through sidewalks that are accessible for all. Connecting neighborhoods to commercial districts makes for a healthier environment and a more equitable downtown experience. With two major state highways intersecting downtown, and an active railroad line, walkability was a significant issue for downtown Waxhaw visitors, and a high priority for the local government.

The Town of Waxhaw received a $1,000,000 Transportation Alternative Program grant from the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization, that allowed Waxhaw to prioritize pedestrian and bicycle connections in downtown. The Town of Waxhaw matched the grant and invested an additional $32,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding. The $2,000,000 improvement project included 20 total crosswalks, 24 handicap-accessible ramps, 2,300 linear feet of sidewalks, and 1,800 linear feet of curbing. New streetlights were also added to brighten the area in the evenings.

Sidewalks were installed in several locations where they were previously non-existent, and new crosswalks were added to several high-profile intersections. One newly added sidewalk connects the Downtown Business District to the new Downtown Park. Another connects downtown to a 245-unit apartment complex. In addition, the new Downtown Plaza doubled the width of the sidewalks and created opportunities for better socialization through outdoor dining and gathering spaces.

The Waxhaw Engineering Department partnered with local contractor Nassiri Development for the construction and led the collaboration efforts between the Business Development Department, Public Services, and Parks and Recreation Departments to ensure clear communication between all stakeholders. Included in the scope of work, in collaboration with Union County Water, outdated waterlines were replaced on the East North Main Street block.

The project was completed in July 2023, and downtown Waxhaw saw its highest year of investment - $4.2 million in public investment and $90.1 million in private investment. The pedestrian improvement project encouraged two private property owners to improve their patio areas for their tenants, and one retailer indicated her sales increased by 79% when compared to the previous year.


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