City of Statesville
Downtown Statesville Streetscape, Phase 2
The City of Statesville, located along I-77 and I-40, is a thriving and growing community that offers central access to all that North Carolina has to offer. The downtown boasts celebrated restaurants, breweries, and unique shops and businesses. Most of Statesville’s downtown buildings are more than a century old. This project serves to properly frame these assets with a pedestrian-friendly downtown streetscape that modernizes downtown infrastructure while maintaining the historic character of the downtown.
McGill was selected to assist the City of Statesville with Phase 2 of a project to improve the downtown streetscape. Since adoption of its Downtown & NC 115 Streetscape / Land Use Master Plan and Corridor Plan in 2009, the City has worked to address the downtown, which had been neglected for decades, much like is the case in many other small towns across the country. The City had completed Phase 1, an $8 million streetscape renovation that focused on updating Center Street. The project more than doubled sidewalk widths, in some places, and created a series of outdoor spaces with landscaping elements to promote an engaging urban experience. The plan called for creating an immersive pedestrian experience, while also paying homage to local history.
In Phase 2, the City wished to expand the project to include West Broad Street, from Mitchell Community College to Center Street, and Meeting Street, from West End Avenue to West Front Street. This portion of Broad Street is an important part of the project because it will connect Mitchell Community College, which serves 8,000 students, to the rest of the project. As such, it needed to be safe, clean, well lit, with easy parking access, distinctive, and engaging.
The goals of the project included creating inviting public spaces; improving pedestrian access, connectivity, and infrastructure; and creating an overall sense of place. Our team implemented various streetscape improvements to attract and encourage visitors and residents to utilize the adjacent areas. We created numerous pocket parks and outdoor dining areas to provide spaces for people to gather and interact in an urban setting and revitalize the City streets.
During this phase of the project, significant work was done at the intersection of West Broad Street and North and South Meeting streets, near the Statesville Post Office. Sidewalks were expanded throughout, and angled parking spaces were replaced with parallel parking spaces. Taking into account the new parking realignment, our team included a strip of pavers at the curb for passengers exiting parked vehicles.
The streetscape improvements included the installation of planting areas, street trees, decorative pavers, and attractive streetlights that imparted a pedestrian-friendly experience. We installed paved bumpouts at crosswalks to allow safer crossing points for pedestrians and allow opportunities for additional planting areas, which improved the overall aesthetic of the area.
The project also included a 16-inch water main along Meeting Street from Water Street to Front Street to replace the existing water line. This critical water main includes 16-inch stub-outs for future water line connections that will improve water pressure for businesses and residents.
Throughout the project, our team focused on ways to improve stormwater management and drainage issues. Increasing the width of sidewalks alters the flow of water away from buildings to the street. McGill’s construction documents were developed with this in mind, with sufficient grade to direct water to large tree lawns and storm drains. McGill also identified deficient stormwater infrastructure and made replacements, where necessary.
Streetscape projects like this act as a catalyst for downtown revival. Since the completion of the project, developers have mentioned the streetscape as a reason they chose to invest in the community. Since 2020, Downtown Statesville has recorded over $7.6 million in new private investment, 8 new businesses, 8 building renovations and facade improvements, and 33 net positive jobs, thanks in part to the revitalization of downtown from this streetscape project.
“Working with Statesville to complete the next phase of this generational project was a pleasure. The results of this project will be instrumental in shaping the downtown community.”
McGill utilized traffic calming elements to slow vehicular traffic and increase pedestrian safety, including lane reductions, roadway narrowing, bumpouts and islands, pavement markings and textures, and landscaping.