by Michael Lowrey
The N.C. Department of Transportation has sent out postcards to over 50,000 property owners near the route of the proposed Garden Parkway in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties informing them that the toll road project is dead. The cards state that:
“This project is not included in the 2016-2025 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). All activities for this project, as currently planned, have stopped.”
I’m not sure that I’ve ever heard of the N.C. DOT ever doing anything like that before to tell me that a major road project isn’t happening.
Does this completely end the matter? No, as the UPoR explains it, for two reasons:
• The litigation continues over the porkway’s environmental impact statement. The Southern Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill says that it will be drop its legal challenge to the environmental impact statement, which it says is flawed, only if the DOT withdraws the statement. Which may or may not tie into that…
• Interest remains in building a portion of the parkway. Per the Charlotte Observer:
The Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization has discussed the Catawba Crossings project, which proposes to construct a road on a new location from I-485 to N.C. 279.
That project must be scored and ranked as part of the state’s new funding formula.
“The river crossing is a must to help the traffic in that eastern part of the county,” said Gaston commissioner Joe Carpenter, a Garden Parkway supporter. “There are over 12,000 cars in the southern part of the county that go up to Belmont just to go across the river. That is really the jam up on I-85.”