Section of Montlieu about to close as roadway
Motorists who regularly travel a section of Montlieu Avenue between College Drive and Centennial Street can make one last trip Wednesday.
Starting Thursday morning, the half-mile section of roadway next to High Point University will close permanently to through traffic to accommodate a major expansion of the campus. Earlier this year, the High Point City Council agreed to cede the section of Montlieu to HPU for the university’s new, more than $100 million facility that will house the university’s School of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy.
Electronic signs along roadways near Montlieu have flashed messages to motorists for the past month about the impending shutdown of the section next to campus. The most recent traffic count from the city of High Point for the portion of Montlieu shows about 5,000 vehicles a day travel the roadway, though an estimated 35 percent of the traffic is related to the university.
The intersection of Montlieu at Centennial will close permanently as an entrance to campus, with a barrier that will prevent motorists from entering.
The intersection will close sometime Thursday morning, though no exact time has been announced, said Pamela Haynes, HPU director of media relations.
“The thing we want motorists to know most is that July 30 is the last day the road is open,” Haynes told The High Point Enterprise.
The intersection at Montlieu and College will continue as an entrance and exit for students, HPU employees and guests. Haynes said HPU will install a temporary welcome center at the intersection to greet motorists, as well as inform travelers that Montlieu no longer extends as a thoroughfare to Centennial.
“I think that folks will understand that it’s an entrance to the university due to that temporary welcome center,” Haynes said.
Site preparation work for the new health sciences/pharmacy building will begin immediately following the closure of the section of Montlieu. The facility is scheduled for completion in 2017.
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Montlieu Avenue’s legacy as a roadway in High Point dates back nearly 100 years. The High Point City Council named the roadway Montlieu on Aug. 18, 1916. The city directory of 1916 lists Montlieu as a street, but no residences are mentioned. One of the first major sites on Montlieu was High Point University, which established its campus in 1924. The roadway may have been named for the former Montlieu Dairy, which operated from the late 19th century in the High Point area.
Source: Heritage Research Center of the High Point Public Library