Asheboro holds workshop on Trade and North Street infrastructure project

ASHEBORO – Asheboro hosted an informational workshop on Monday, Nov. 13, to present preliminary plans for a proposed infrastructure project on Trade Street and a section of North Street, seeking community feedback.

Community Development Director Trevor Nuttall stressed the importance of community input: “What’s really important about doing these meetings is that you hear suggestions… We know that if it’s just us in the room talking, we’re going to miss something that would be easy to do and would be really cool. The benefits of these sessions are we get to listen to people who we don’t talk to every day and pick up ideas.”

The project focuses on updating the city’s vital infrastructure, with Nuttall explaining, “What we plan to do is we will replace all the city-maintained infrastructure first… We think those are 60+ years old and could truthfully break at any point so we’d rather do this in a managed way on our schedule than in an emergency at two in the morning. We would do our utilities first, get those replaced and then allow temporary access so it can reopen. Then once the power company’s utility providers come in, we will then close the street down again, let them do their work and then continue until the project is complete.”

Nuttall estimates the construction will take 8 to 10 months, subject to weather and supply chain conditions. The plan also includes improving accessibility. “A benefit of this project is that we will have accessible sidewalks,” Nuttall noted. “Right now, the sidewalks are in rough shape, there’s no handicap accessible ramps, so you’re unable to use it if you’re in a wheelchair. At the end of this project, it’s going to be accessible.”

The City also anticipates the improvements to foster private investment. “We hope to put this back in a way that reminds people of what occurred roughly 20 years ago with the similar project on Sunset,” Nuttall added, expecting building owners to invest in their properties following the public investment.

Funded primarily through state funds as part of a $1.5 million downtown infrastructure grant, the project aims for efficient use of resources. “Our goal is to do this project under the funds that we have,” said Nuttall, focusing on minimizing local taxpayer contributions.

Nuttall also addressed local concerns, including a new modern solid waste structure for Trade Street and revised parking arrangements. “Parking continues to be a kind of… it’s what comes along with being a popular destination,” he remarked, acknowledging the need for a more comprehensive parking solution in the future.

“Our commitment is to do this in a way that minimizes the disruptions to the local businesses,” Nuttall reassured.

For further information, Nuttall can be reached at 336-626-1201 ext. 2323 or via email at [email protected].

The Asheboro City Council will review the preliminary plan on Dec. 7. If approved, construction is expected to begin in summer 2024.

By Ryan Henkel and PJ Ward-Brown