by: Tenikka Smith Updated:
MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Mooresville town leaders are pushing the North Carolina Department of Transportation to raise the height of the bridge along Highway 150 at Lake Norman.
It's an idea Eyewitness News first reported on in September 2013.
Town leaders also hope to encourage their neighbors to also get behind the project they believe will bring a major boost to the area.
Mooresville town commissioners recently passed a resolution to ask the state to raise the height of the bridge when it widens the stretch of Highway 150 in a few years.
Right now, the bridge is too low for large boats like the Catawba Queen to pass through. which town leaders say cuts off access to the north end of the lake.
Commissioner Mac Herring said making the entire lake more accessible would boost development and increase property values, potentially generating millions in tax revenue.
"It helps all of us if we're able to raise the value of the lake regionally," he said.
Stan Thompson is on the Transportation, Infrastructure and Air Quality Committee with the Mooresville South Iredell Chamber of Commerce. He first proposed the idea and thinks its would also draw more tourists.
"Certainly it will make a difference for the fame and celebrity of the lake," Thompson said.
Herring said Mooresville will now encourage other communities and counties around the lake to pass similar resolutions to help bolster the request with the NCDOT.
"Ultimately it's up to DOT and they've got to weigh out cost benefits for them. But I think it is well worth the effort to at least give it a serious look and consider it before they get too far down the planning road," said Herring.
"I'm hoping not only that they make it an issue, but come up with alternative designs for the bridge and put them before the public to comment,” Thompson said.
Channel 9 asked the NCDOT if a higher bridge could be included in plans to widen Highway 150.
A spokesperson said the state is still studying the widening project and will get public input before any construction begins.