The North Carolina Department of Transportation intends to widen a congested 10-mile stretch of Interstate 85 west of Charlotte. The first of two public meetings regarding the almost $635 million project will take place on Tuesday evening, Aug. 23.
According to the I-85 project website on NCDOT.gov, plans include adding a lane in each direction from the U.S. 321 intersection in Gastonia, Exit 17, to the N.C. 273 interchange, Exit 27, in Mount Holly.
In doing so, the route would be widened to eight lanes altogether. According to officials, construction is expected to start in 2024 and end in 2030.
The 10-mile section serves as a major commuter route in the Charlotte metropolitan area in addition to connecting Gastonia with other cities and communities in Gaston County.
Highway officials say the new lanes will help reduce longstanding congestion.