Delays Persist on I-85

It looks like delays are the order of the day on I-85. The current road projects in Gaston County are yet again delayed. There are a few in the works as well, the first, widening of I-85 and the replacement of the Wilkinson Boulevard bridge over the Catawba River are the largest at this time. There are many smaller projects delayed as well including sidewalk replacement and road rehabilitation projects which have also been delayed.

One of the reasons for the delays is of course Covid-19. People are traveling less which means they are purchasing gasoline less often. Many of the road projects are funded by taxes on gas and on tolls from toll roads. With more people staying home and now working from home, those revenue sources have taken a hit.

New projects have pushed start dates out as well. The I-85 widening project which was supposed to begin in early 2021 has now been pushed to 2025 with a new completion date expected in 2029. This $387 million project is supposed to expand I-85 from six to eight lanes between Gastonia and Belmont.

The replacement of the Catawba River bridge over I-85 has been delayed until 2023. Additional projects such as roadwork and pavement rehabilitation that were supposed to begin in 2022 have been pushed as far as 2025.

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