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Gastonia investing in infrastructure with its eyes set on growth

Businesses in Gastonia welcome more accessibility as they imagine a boom in business.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — The city of Gastonia is preparing to prop up local infrastructure with $75 million after passing a transportation bond referendum in November. The beginning phases to fix the city's roads will use about $10 million.

Repair work will start on 30 miles of roadway to repair, widen, and make any needed improvements. That's good news for the restaurant Pita Wheel, which sits at the corner of Highway 321 and 74.

"321 is right on the corner and it's a very busy road coming from South Carolina to North Carolina," Pita Wheel general manager Jeff Cantrell explained. "We get a lot of tractor-trailers."

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Cantrell said the traffic is consistent, but he wished it was foot traffic going by their front windows. Instead, he imagines a boom in business with the added improvements.  

The city worked with engineering consultants to make a working list of streets that most need repair. The second phase centers on safety improvements for schools, parks, accessibility to businesses, and transit.  The city will also work on connecting the city and increasing public parking.

Cantrell likes that idea.  

"Creating more parking spots and stuff like that in downtown will drive people to spend more time in Gaston County," he said. 

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With this investment, Gaston County leaders believe property values will increase and help generate revenue. That will help fund bond reimbursement without any increase to the tax rate so that it could be seen as a win for the city and taxpayers.

If you'd like to fill out a survey and live in Gastonia, the city would like your feedback on how the funds could be used. 

Contact Colin Mayfield at cmayfield@wcnc.com or follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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