CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Dennis Easterling remembers the glory days. He grew up just blocks from Independence Boulevard.
“Oh it was the biggest thing in the state of North Carolina. Every business was booming, people were moving here,” he said.
Easterling is angry the $170 million road widening project and improvement plan hasn’t started yet. It was supposed to begin six months ago.
“They're spending all that money buying property and everything. What good is it?” he asked.
We called the NC DOT Spokesperson Jen Thompson told us the project was delayed because the design was changed and a fast lane, or HOV lane, was added in each direction.
Thompson says the project could start in early summer. When it’s complete, it will also include three new overpasses, designed to help traffic move easier and faster through the corridor. Easterling says it won’t happen fast enough.
"Let's just say maybe it was a little fib when they said over a-year-and-a-half ago they'd be over half way through this thing by now, and they haven't even started,” he said.
Thompson says she understands Easterling’s frustration. But says the DOT wanted to have all the land cleared and all plans approved before they begin taking bids from contractors.
Bidding could begin on February 19th with construction possibly beginning in early summer, maybe even sooner, according to Thompson. It is scheduled to be completed by 2017.