Breaking News
More () »

Study on potential bridge between Gaston and Mecklenburg completed

More details are set to be shared on Oct. 13.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — There are new developments on the proposed road that would span the Catawba River to connect Gaston and Mecklenburg County. 

It's called the Catawba Crossings Project. It would start at South New Hope Road near Belmont, span the South Fork and Catawba rivers, cross a new interchange at I-485 before ending at Steele Creek Road, which is located just south of Charlotte Douglas International Airport. 

The Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization (GCLMPO) and regional project sponsors have recently finalized the Catawba Crossings Feasibility Study, evaluating how it would impact the areas that are seeing new development. 

RELATED: Nearly 700 new homes approved to be built in Gastonia

“I think the traffic going from Gaston to Meck can be crazy," said Belmont resident Jessie Anderson.

“A very small rural town is growing by leaps and bounds, and people are flocking in, the infrastructure isn’t really there to support it,” said fellow resident Andrew Whitney.

Now, Catawba Crossings leaders are trying to ease the growing pains. 

The planned highway would funnel east-west traffic away from I-85 and Wilkinson Boulevard. It would start at New Hope Road in Gaston County, dip down through South Belmont, and cross the Catawba River into Charlotte. 

“We need to increase mobility options,” said Randi Gates, GCLMPO Administrator.

RELATED: $75 million bond referendum would improve roads in Gastonia

After two years, the final feasibility study on the project found it would reduce travel time and congestion, as well as reduce the frequency of crashes. 

However, opponents fear it will cause more congestion in areas like South New Hope Road and South Point Road, which already see heavy traffic.   

“If you see that your property is in the corridor right now, know that there are going to be further studies and things may change,” Gates said. 

But some say, in the long run, they'd welcome the easier commute. 

“I think it’s a great opportunity to kind of connect the rural to the city,” Whitney said.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.

The GCLMPO and project consultants will make a joint presentation to the GCLMPO and the Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO). The presentation will be informational only. There will be no request for action (e.g., votes) by any governing body.

The public is invited to watch the informational joint local government presentation on Catawba Crossings Facebook Page beginning at 6:00 PM on Thursday, October 13, 2022.

Contact Lexi Wilson at lwilson@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Before You Leave, Check This Out