IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — Business owners who have been displaced to make way for a super street are looking for new places to set up shop.
The massive project on Highway 150 in Iredell County and Catawba County is expected to start in 2019, so the North Carolina Department of Transportation is clearing space for crews.
Changes to the busy stretch of highway will impact everything around it.
NCDOT is going to transform the 15-mile stretch of road into a super street, which will have more U-turns and fewer stop lights and left turns.
A flyover video posted by NCDOT shows businesses tucked in along the road, but Channel 9 learned there won't be any room for any of the businesses in the shopping center anchored by Panera Bread and FedEx.
“We had a lot of concerns. It was a very good location for us," said Joe Forth, the owner of CPR Cell Phone Repair.
Forth had to close the cellphone store he owned for seven years and move it across the street after NCDOT said it was taking the property.
His customers followed him, but other business owners don’t know if that will last.
The owner of Health Nutz told Channel 9 business is booming in his new location, but he said he signed a shorter lease because the true test of disruption will start when construction begins.
He worries all the road work will make it harder for drivers to access the new location.
NCDOT said it's still trying to figure out how many other businesses are on the chopping block.
Residents could see a lot more moving signs going up in the windows of businesses before construction starts.
Forth said, "It’s a little scary, is it going to be difficult to get in and out of here? We’ll see.”
Despite the growing pains, Forth said it was time for something to change.
“There was a lot of gridlock, clearly the road needs to be expanded," he said.
According to NCDOT, the project will cost a total of $276 million.
The first construction phase in Mooresville could take four years.
The expansion into Catawba County could start in 2024.
NCDOT spokeswoman Jen Thompson said the design of the super street will pay off because it will be more efficient and safer.
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