Homecoming celebrations are underway at Johnson C. Smith University amid extensive road construction that will affect traffic for entering and leaving campus.
The CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar project, which began in 2018, is moving into the track-laying portion of Phase 2. Street access has been shut down since Sept. 21 at the Five Points intersection, where Rozzelles Ferry, W. 5th Street, Beatties Ford Road and W. Trade Street meet. Track installation is expected to wrap up on Oct. 28.
This closes the main intersection nearest to the campus for the entire time frame of the Golden Bulls’ Homecoming Week. While it will affect comings and goings, JCSU emphasizes that the essential Homecoming experience will not change, particularly the much-loved parade taking place Saturday, Oct. 26, from West Charlotte High School to the campus at 100 Beatties Ford Road.
“Despite ongoing construction on Beatties Ford Road, the parade is an integral part of an HBCU’s homecoming experience. We felt that it was important to continue our tradition here in Charlotte for alumni, students and the community,” said Takeem Dean, dean of students and Homecoming committee chair.
The university championed the project when it was proposed in 2014, hosting community workshops and forums under then-President Ronald L. Carter, and sacrificed the pedestrian bridge in 2017 that provided safe overstreet passage from dormitories to the main campus since the 1960s.
The following routes have been provided as alternatives to entering campus:
From I-85N: Take Beatties Ford Road exit. Turn left onto Beatties Ford Road and enter campus at the intersection of Dixon and Beatties Ford.
From I-85S: Take Beatties Ford Road exit. Turn right onto Beatties Ford Road and enter campus at the intersection of Dixon and Beatties Ford.
From I-77S: Take Trade Street exit and turn left onto 5th Street, right onto Summit Avenue and enter campus from rear gate across from the Irwin Belk Complex. Alternately, from Trade Street turn right onto Martin Street and enter campus from the Martin Street entrance.
From I-77N: Take 5th Street exit and turn left onto 5th Street, right onto Summit Avenue and enter campus from the rear gate across from the Irwin Belk Complex. Alternately, from Trade Street turn right onto Martin Street and enter campus from the Martin Street entrance.
From Brookshire Freeway: Turn left from Brookshire westbound or right from Brookshire eastbound onto Beatties Ford Road. Turn left into campus at the intersection of Dixon Street and Beatties Ford Road.
Rozzelles Ferry Road inbound: Utilize Idaho Drive, Brookshire Freeway and Graham Street
Rozzelles Ferry Road outbound: Utilize W. 5th Street, Graham Street, Brookshire Freeway and Hoskins Road
Beatties Ford Road inbound: Utilize Lasalle Street, Statesville Avenue and Graham Street
Beatties Ford Road outbound: Utilize French Street, Brookshire Freeway, and Graham Street
Emiene Wright is an avid storyteller, journalist and editor creating content on print and digital platforms. She has been published in the NAACP’s Crisis Magazine, North Carolina’s Our State magazine, and The Charlotte Observer.