I-85 Widening in Gaston County

Fast Facts

NCDOT Project #: I-5719 & U-5800
Type: Widening
Project Length: 10 miles
Affected Counties: Gaston
Condemning Authority: NCDOT
Estimated Affected Parcels: 300+
Estimated Cost: $930,000,000+
Right-of-Way Funds: $61,700,000


To alleviate the growing traffic burden to and from Gaston County west of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg area, the NCDOT is set to widen the I-85 corridor from six to eight travel lanes from US 321 (Exit 17) in Gastonia to NC 273 (Exit 27) in Mount Holly (project I-5719), completely rebuilding the latter with a new bridge and entry-exit system. From Exit 27 eastward, the road is already eight lanes.

This stretch of I-85 has become a heavily burdened commuter corridor, and traffic backups are common during rush hour. Interchanges will be updated, with the most significant work being at the NC 273 interchange, where the vehicle traffic bridge will be relocated and the rail bridge upgraded (project U-5800).

The widening of such a vital and heavily used corridor is a massive undertaking, and the NCDOT is adding several utility and technology improvements as it works its way through. The road passes by large commercial areas, including Eastridge Mall and the Franklin Square shopping center that back up to I-85 from the south. Multiple properties in Lowell, McAdenville, and Belmont will also be affected. In all, more than 300 parcels stand to lose property to this project, some of which may be significant.

Business and Homeowner Concerns

For home, land, and business owners along the project path, this means their properties will shrink to accommodate the additional roadway and right-of-way, and the relocation of entry/exit roads and bridges. Depending on what NCDOT needs, there is potential for both homeowners and businesses to suffer significant losses to this project.

Homeowners may find traffic closer and noise pollution greater with both the proximity and increased traffic flow. Some homes may no longer conform to the county’s setback standards. Businesses may lose valuable parking, have modified entry/exit, or may also suffer from non-conformance with ordinances after the taking. These will largely take place near interchanges but could affect any property owners along the project length.

There may also be construction easements taken that are “temporary,” which may in fact last for years. Property owners should also be extremely vigilant for damage via inverse condemnation and understand that, if they must relocate, those costs are not included in the initial offer they receive from the NCDOT.

What to Do if Your Property Is Affected

The NCDOT can take your land, but not your rights. The government will set aside significant funds for right-of-way acquisition over the course of this project and then do their best not to spend it all. Property owners in the path of the project will receive offers, but if they accept that initial offer, they’re probably leaving money on the table.

You have the right to just compensation. The NCDOT’s initial offer is just the beginning – as long as you do not accept it. Fight for more. Call 1-877-393-4990 or contact us as soon as possible for a complimentary case evaluation.

We do not take an attorney’s fee unless we increase the government’s offer, and our fee only comes from the increased amount – our no-fee guarantee. The initial offer is entirely yours, regardless of what you do next or what we may be able to obtain. Further, we front the costs of fighting your case and if we’re unable to increase the government’s offer to you, you don’t pay them. We do. That is how confident we are that we can assist you.

News and Publications


The Gaston Gazette

Queen City News

Project Maps

These projects are quite complex. If you have any questions as to whether your property is affected, please call us at 1-877-393-3990.

Estimated Project Schedule

Right of Way Acquisition – Spring 2025

Start Construction – 2025

End Construction – 2033 or beyond

Affected Parcels

It is still unclear how many properties and owners will be affected by the I-85 widening project in Gaston County, but it is estimated that more than 300 parcels will be affected. The project will include a budget of nearly $62 million for right-of-way takings, but that number may change as plans continue to be developed. It’s cold comfort for property owners in the path who have no choice but to sell some or all of it to the government. Whether your property is residential or commercial in nature, it is critical to understand that the government’s initial offer is just that – initial. We do not recommend you accept the initial offer.

Call us at 1-877-393-4990 or contact us online as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.

Get a free case
evaluation today.

There are only a handful of attorneys in NC who practice eminent domain exclusively, and even fewer with NCDOT experience. We have several. That’s why its worth getting in touch with us for a free case evaluation.

Here’s how it works:

1) Tell us about your situation.

2) We research your property as needed, using DOT maps, our own technology, and experience to see the exact effects.

3) We let you know what we think a fair offer would be. This evaluation is free, and there’s no
pressure or obligation to hire us after.

But please don’t wait to act. Waiting can hurt your case, and the cost is the same: free.

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