The Monroe Connector Bypass toll road is still navigating some legal challenges but, with recent federal highway approval, the N.C. Department of Transportation has restarted design and right-of-way acquisition for a portion of the project.
The proposed 20-mile toll road will begin near the U.S. 74/Interstate 485 interchange in Mecklenburg County, travel parallel to the north of U.S. 74, and terminate between Wingate and Marshville.
Jen Thompson, N.C. DOT communications officer, said recently that companies Carolina Land Acquisition and Atkins are working with the state to negotiate the needed right-of-way for the project.
“We are moving ahead,” Thompson said. “We can only acquire right-of-way in areas where plans are complete. There are six segments of this project, and right now the plans for two of those six segments are finalized.”
Right-of-way purchases have begun in those two eastern segments that are closest to Marshville.
Plans for the other segments should be complete by the end of the year.
Thompson said property owners in the first two segments whose land is needed for right-of-way should have already been contacted.
Property owners who have land needed for right-of-way in the other four segments were contacted several years ago, when the project was announced, and will be notified again when plans are complete and the state determines the final path of the road.
Property owners, realtors and other interested parties can view proposed plans, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, at the project field office, 5419 Indian Trail-Fairview Road, Indian Trail.
“We are the field office for the project, and we have maps as well. Realtors and other interested parties can come here to see if particular properties are affected,” said Heather Braswell of the North Carolina Turnpike Authority.
Rick Baucom, N.C. DOT assistant division construction engineer, says if environmental permits are issued early next year, as expected, construction could begin next spring.
He said the total cost of the project is estimated to be about $838.6 million with $367.7 million of that earmarked for construction costs.