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Project Map

Administrative Record

The Administrative Record was filed with the U.S. District Court on 4/8/13 and contains all the documents the agencies relied on, either directly or indirectly, in issuing the final Record of Decision. Administrative Record is 1.3GB.

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Project Fast Facts
  • County: Gaston,Mecklenburg
  • Type of Project: New toll freeway
  • STIP Number: U-3321
  • Time Savings: Up to 28 minutes per trip
  • Estimated Toll Rate: 15 cents per mile
Garden Parkway Logo


The Garden Parkway, also known as the Gaston East-West Connector, is a planned toll road approximately 21.9 miles from I-85 west of Gastonia in Gaston County to I-485 near the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Mecklenburg County with new crossings over the South Fork and Catawba Rivers. The new toll road is estimated to cost about 15 cents per mile and save drivers up to 28 minutes each trip.

Latest News and Updates

Project planning and implementation of the Garden Parkway Project is currently on hold while NCDOT reviews the state, regional, and local transportation improvement funding priorities using a new Strategic Mobility Formula.

The Strategic Transportation Investments bill was signed into law in June 2013. It created a new Strategic Mobility Formula to help North Carolina better prioritize transportation investments. The Garden Parkway Project is being ranked under this new funding formula. The objective of this new formula is to appropriately align transportation policy and priorities at the statewide, regional, and local levels based on available funding. For more information on the Strategic Mobility Formula, go to The law requires that NCDOT release a draft revised State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) by January 1, 2015 that reflects the effect of the new formula. The STIP allocates anticipated transportation revenues among projects statewide for a seven-year period.

In addition, the Strategic Transportation Investments bill repealed the state revenue bond funding authorization or gap funding for the Garden Parkway Project that would have paid bridge construction, operation, and maintenance costs not covered by tolls. If the Garden Parkway Project ranking is such that inclusion in the new STIP is appropriate, funding could be restored to the project.

Design-Build Procurement

In December 2010, Alternative 9 was identified as the preferred alternative for the Garden Parkway in the project’s Final Environmental Impact Statement, and was approved in the Federal Highway’s Record of Decision issued on February 29, 2012. On August 28, 2012, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), on behalf of Clean Air Carolina and the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, filed a suit in Federal District Court in Charlotte challenging the project’s environmental documentation. This litigation is still pending.

Summary of Travel Time Savings & Estimated Toll Rates
(March 2012)

Traffic & Revenue Study Complete
(November 2011)

Since the lawsuit was filed, NCDOT has paused the project procurement process that was proceeding to award two contracts for design and construction of the project. Two separate design-build contracts are anticipated for the project, one for the eastern section and one for the western section. The Garden Parkway-East contract will include a four-lane divided highway that extends from I-485 near the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Mecklenburg County to just west of Wilson Farm Road, a length of approximately 9.5 miles, and will also encompass toll operations for the entire project. Garden Parkway-West includes construction of a four-lane highway from just east of Wilson Farm Road to US 321 (approximately 5.5 miles), and a new two-lane road with right of way to eventually expand to four lanes between US 321 and I-85 west of Gastonia (approximately 5.9 miles).

NCDOT has already shortlisted design-build teams for the Garden Parkway and distributed Requests for Proposals (RFP) for both sections.

News Releases

  • Currently, no recent news releases.
Project Schedule (subject to change)
Draft Environmental Impact Statement Completed
Final Environmental Impact Statement Completed
Record of Decision Approved
Obtain Environmental Permits TBD
Final Plan of Finance TBD
Award Design Build Contracts TBD
Begin Right-of-Way Acquisition TBD
Begin Construction TBD
Project Open to Traffic TBD

Project Overview and Purpose

The purpose of the proposed action is to improve east-west transportation mobility in the area around the City of Gastonia, between Gastonia and the Charlotte metropolitan area, and particularly to establish direct access between the rapidly growing area of southeast Gaston County and western Mecklenburg County.

This project purpose is based on the following needs:

  • Need to improve mobility, access, and connectivity within southern Gaston County and between southern Gaston County and western Mecklenburg County.
  • Need to improve traffic flow on the sections of I-85, US 29-74 and US 321 in the Project Study Area and improve high-speed, safe, reliable regional travel service along the I-85 corridor.

Estimated Cost

These costs have been inflated annually from estimates in 2011 dollars to the anticipated year of expenditure. The project will be financed using a variety of sources which could include toll revenue bonds, federal loans, and state funding, including an annual state appropriation of $35 million. To date, approximately $20 million has been spent on preliminary engineering and planning studies.

Construction578.5 M
Right-of-Way152.8 M
Utilities21.1 M
Other Agency Costs90.7 M
TOTAL843.1 M

Project Highlights

Several design modifications were made to the Preferred Alternative as a result of public involvement activities, coordination with environmental resource and regulatory agencies, and comments received during the Draft EIS public review period (summer 2009). These changes, including reduced numbers of lanes, decreased median widths, access road changes, and interchange reconfiguration or elimination, are intended to provide a project more consistent with the project setting that meets the transportation needs in a more cost-effective way.

Record of Decision (February 2012)

Traffic Noise Technical Memorandum Addendum #2 (July 2011)

Revised Final Quantitative ICE Analysis (July 2011)

Final EIS

FEIS & Information

Review period closes February 22, 2011

FEIS FR Publication

Final EIS Timeline
Draft Environmental Impact Statement Completed
Final Environmental Impact Statement Completed
Record of Decision January 2012
Project Open to Traffic 2015

FEIS December 2010 (by Section)


Supporting Documents

Draft EIS

General Information

Draft EIS April 2009 (by Chapter)


Corridor/Design Public Hearing Maps

Draft EIS Supporting Documents

Project Library



Public Involvement

Workshop Documents




Workshop Documents

Project Photos

project photo
project photo

Contact Information

Project Hotline: (800) 475-6402


  • Address: 1578 Mail Service Center,
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1578

Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.