BELMONT, N.C. -- Opponents of the proposed Garden Parkway toll road project are demonstrating in front of City Hall in Belmont.
North Carolina Turnpike officials are set to brief the Belmont City Council on the projected cost of relocating power lines. The cost could be anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million. Belmont will have to foot the cost since it gambled and put the utilities on a state easement several years ago.
"There is a state statute that requires you to cover the cost of relocating lines that are installed on a DOT right of way, which ours are," said Belmont City Manager Barry Webb.
The new toll road is planned to run from I-85 in Gastonia to I-485 near Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
The roadway would pass south of Belmont just off Boat Launch Road and or new bridges that would be built spanning the South Fork and Catawba Rivers.
Many area residents have opposed the project and you can still find old, faded signs around town reading, 'Stop the road to Nowhere.'
"Unless they can figure out a way for the town of Belmont to not have to pay for the upgrades that are mandated, then I think it is a bad idea," said resident Darryl Warren.
But other residents say good transportation means good business.
"I honestly think it would probably cause some growth and for property values to continue to increase," said area resident Rex Stokes.