Eyewitness News uncovered two major developments involving the last leg of Interstate 485.
First, the state agreed to spend $18.5 million to start buying land for the project. North Carolina Department of Transportation representatives said it's too early to tell what property the state will buy first.
Second, local road officials said they want to see the state make good on its promise to finish the loop sooner rather than later, but they don't want the state to take money from two other projects to do it: 1) widening Independence Boulevard between Albemarle Road and Conference Drive and 2) building the Monroe Bypass.
They compared the three projects based on 11 categories, including congestion, safety, access to mass transit, the environment, distance from uptown, pollution and cost. They gave each road a score and 485 came in last twice.
Huntersville planner Bill Coxe said, "We prioritized the projects. They fell out in this order. We don't think that it's reasonable to take money from a different project to fund 485."
Now they'll pass their view along to local elected officials who will decide whether the state should sacrifice Independence and the Monroe Bypass for 485. They plan to meet next week.