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Garden Parkway (NC) cost more than doubles!!

As a former resident of Gaston County, NC...I hope to follow this closely.

From an article in last week's Charlotte Observer, the projected cost for the Garden Parkway has more than doubled to $1.25 billion when compared to a $600 million projected cost that was given this past February! The reason after working with consulting firms on everything from construction to tolls they had to update their preliminary findings.

There were some more details. The road would like be built in three stages. Stage one: I-485 to NC 279 (New Hope Road) near Gastonia. This would be about six miles in length and cost about $410 million. The second stage would runs from New Hope Road to US 321 about two or three miles north of the South Carolina state line. The third state would be from 321 curving to the north until reaching I-85 near Bessemer City. Nothing is said about the highway continuing north to US 321 near High Shoals.

It appears that a route for the highway won't be determined until 2009 with the possibility of construction to start in 2010. There are currently 12 different routing alternatives for the proposed toll highway.

Some clues on what the tolls will be were given. The six miles of the first stage would be $1.50. The entire 22 mile highway; $2.50.

Commentary:

Granted, costs for highways have skyrocketed. But you don't see costs double in eight months. The article says first estimate four years ago was $400 million. But what concerns me is the amount of the jump from studies conducted this past year. How could it go that much? State leaders have conceded the tolls won't cover the entire highway's cost, and any NC Resident knows what the state of highway funding is right now.

If the cost for this highway was out of line in the first place, what about the other possible toll highways? Is the NC Turnpike Authority out of their league?

Some more links:
Gaston County East-West Connector Project ---NCDOT (Note: The Gaston East-West Connector is another name for the Garden Parkway).
North Carolina Turnpike Authority

Comments

Anonymous said…
I live in Country Woods, where one of the proposed routes would run behind my house in a field. I assume the state would have to buy my property, but can I be assured of a fair settlement? Replacement costs?

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