skip to main
Close Menu

N.C. 73 Improvements (Lincoln & Mecklenburg)

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Project Overview

The N.C. Department of Transportation proposes widening an 8.5-mile stretch of N.C. 73 from N.C. 16 in Lincoln County to Northcross Drive in Huntersville to accommodate future growth.

The N.C. 73 project is included in the 2024-2033 NCDOT State Transportation Improvement Program (Draft STIP)​ as three projects: R-5721A, R-5721B and U-5765. They are combined for environmental study purposes.

The limits for each project are described as follows:

  • ​R-5721A - N.C. 16 to Beatties Ford Road, Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties 
  • R-5721B - Beatties Ford Road to West Catawba Avenue, Mecklenburg County
  • U-5765 - West Catawba Avenue to Northcross Drive, Mecklenburg County

Project Purpose

As the only Catawba River crossing between N.C. 150 and N.C. 16, ​N.C. 73 is a regionally important route. 

The primary purpose is to improve the traffic-carrying capacity within the study area to operate at an acceptable level of service through 2040. The secondary purpose is to safely accommodate multi-modal uses of the corridor, including bicycle and pedestrian activities.​

Improvements are needed because by 2040 traffic on N.C. 73 is projected to increase:

  • 35 percent (approximately 23,900 to 45,500 vehicles per day) between N.C. 16 and West Catawba Avenue
  • 60 percent (55,000 to 60,000 vehicles per day) between West Catawba Avenue and Northcross Drive

The proposed project is being developed in conjunction with additional proposed improvements to N.C. 73 in Mecklenburg & Cabarrus

Project Funding

This project is listed as Projects R-5721A R-5721​B and U-5765 in the 2024-2033 N.C. Department of Transportation's State Transportation Improvement Program (Draft STIP)​ and is funded for $334 million.​​​​




Utility Relocation
​$10.4 million
​$3 million
​$7.5 million
​Property acquisition​$46.4 million
​$15.5 million
​$58.5 million
​Construction costs​$102 million
​$59.3 million
​$31.5 million
​Total cost ​$158.8 million$77.8 million
$97.5 million

​*Estimated costs subject to change

​Project Timeline 

​Project kickoff 
​August 2015
​Initial public meetings 
​February 2018
​Design public meetings 
​October 2018
​Environmental document (State EA/FONSI) approval 
​August 2019
​Begin right of way acquisition*
Fall 2022 (U-5765)
Fall 2023 (R-5721B)
Fall 2026 (R-5721A)*
​Begin construction 
Fall 2026 (U-5765)*​
Summer 2028 (R-5721B)*
Summer 2029 (R-5721A)*

*Future dates subject to change

4/2/2024 8:13 AM