HUNTERSVILLE – While the final future route of a wider N.C. 73 through western Huntersville remains undetermined – with a decision on that long-discussed issue now expected in March at the earliest – information about the eastern piece of the highway project will be shared later this month.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will host two January public meetings concerning its planned and budgeted intentions to widen 14 miles of N.C. 73 between N.C. 115 and U.S. 29 in Concord. The north Mecklenburg session will be held Jan. 28 at Lake Norman Church of Christ on Caldwell Station Road. A second regional meeting will be held the following day at Connect Christian Church in Concord.

The focus of the informational and public input gatherings will be NCDOT’s plans to widen the vital east-west highway from two lanes to four on the east side of N.C. 115.

Identified sections of the project include the area between N.C. 115 and the Davidson-Concord Road intersection – a widening and intersection improvement upgrade expected to cost $19.8 million – and two other stretches of the highway divided by the Poplar Tent Road intersection. Construction is set to begin on the combined $162 million project in late 2021 or the first half of 2022. A timeframe for construction has not been determined.

The other half

The east side N.C. 73 improvements are on the same tentative schedule as the western half of the high-profile project. Visions for the 8.5-mile, $165 million western section, between Northcross Drive and N.C. 16 in Lincoln County, have progressed further down the NCDOT’s preliminary planning pipeline, but the exact placement of the wider highway near Blythe Landing and the Beatties Ford Road intersection is uncertain.

Wilson Stroud, an NCDOT project manager engaged in the western project, said information is still being compiled and an announcement about the route should be included in a departmental newsletter to be distributed in March or early April.

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