GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina transportation leaders held the first of two public meetings Tuesday to discuss plans to widen Interstate 85 in Gaston County.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently proposed expanding I-85 between Gastonia and Belmont. The project would add an additional lane each way from U.S. 321 (Exit 17) in Gastonia and North Carolina 273 in Belmont (Exit 27). NCDOT says it would reduce congestion in the area during peak travel times.
The first public meeting was at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the auditorium on the Kimbrell campus of Gaston College in Belmont. A second meeting was at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Gastonia Conference Center.
In addition to widening I-85, NCDOT has proposed improvements to the intersection of North Main Street (Highway 7) and Wilkinson Boulevard (US 29/74) to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow.
The project has an estimated cost of $634 million and could take approximately six years to complete. NCDOT estimates construction could be complete by 2030 if started by 2024. NCDOT began studying data about the project in early 2016.
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