CONCORD, N.C. — Thousands of cars use N.C. Highway 73 every day between Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties. Over the next two decades, that number is expected to explode to as many 43,000 daily drivers.
"We are going to see a big boom here in the next 20 years," North Carolina Department of Transportation spokeswoman Jen Thompson said.
NCDOT has a $168 million plan to address that boom.
In 2023, the state wants to start widening Highway 73 for 14 miles from Davidson Concord Road to Concord Parkway North.
“It is real important for our community with the way infrastructure is set up,” real estate agent Tina Anderson said. “We need to get people to and from work.”
Frequent commuters said going from two to four lanes on this stretch will make a big difference.
"The traffic is just terrible on 73," Jeanette Robinson said. "Yes, it is needed."
The progress comes at a price.
People who live off Highway 73 are worried about losing parts of their properties.
"We are real concerned about how much of our property it will take to widen 73," Pam Carver said.
Jim Foster, whose family has owned the same house since 1840, said the plans, as proposed, would eliminate fencing he recently installed to enclose horses in his pasture.
"I am not inclined to be very excited about this project, unless we can get some changes made," Foster said. "(There is) $16,000 worth of fencing, and I don't want to lose it."
NCDOT said they are working with homeowners and soliciting feedback. Construction is not set to start until 2023.
"Things still might change between now and the final design," Thompson said.
Thompson said the road widening also includes intersection improvements throughout the 14 miles including Poplar Tent and Odell School roads.
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