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Lake Norman Beach Draws Crowds - And Traffic

Mecklenburg County hasn’t had a public beach in about 40 years. So when the new beach at Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius opened two weeks ago, there was a lot of pent up demand.

So many people showed up Memorial Day weekend that traffic jammed nearby streets and hundreds were turned away.  Neighbors complained.  So county park officials will meet with neighbors Thursday to talk about how they're responding. 

The beach opened even though a planned traffic signal still hasn't been installed at a key intersection leading to the park. Until that happens, Mecklenburg County Parks & Recreation is paying Cornelius police to direct traffic around the park, said parks director Jim Garges, on WFAE’sCharlotte Talks.

"We're going to treat every weekend going forward until we don't need it like it's a holiday weekend. So the police department will be there, our staff will be there, we'll be working with the neighbors continually," Garges said.

The traffic light at Nantz Road and West Catawba Avenue is supposed to be installed by a developer building a new neighborhood near the park. The DOT says that can't happen until the developer straightens Nantz Road, which could take another month.

Garges expects more delays July 4th weekend

Thursday's public meeting about the Ramsey Creek beach begins at 6:00 p.m. at Cornelius Town Hall.

You can listen to Charlotte Talks' interview with Garges on WFAE.org