US 521 Widening


NCDOT Project #: U-6109
Type: Improvements
Project Length: 2.95
Affected Counties: Mecklenburg
Condemning Authority: NCDOT
Estimated Affected Parcels: 80
Estimated Cost: $54,110,000
Right-of-Way Funds: $5,000,000


The NCDOT has plans to widen US 521 between Brixham Hill Ave. just south of I-485 and the South Carolina border in Mecklenburg County. Locally known as Johnston Road or the Lancaster Highway, depending on location, it sees heavy traffic daily thanks to the growth and popularity of the Ballantyne area in south Charlotte.

The project – which is still in its initial planning phases – could become a six-lane traditional road or a four-lane superstreet design. The project includes redesigns or updates to 17 intersections along the nearly three-mile project length, though exact modifications and changes will depend on the type of road the project ultimately adopts.

More than 80 property owners stand to be affected, though how much land they stand to lose remains to be seen.

Business and Homeowner Concerns

Now is the time for home, land, and business owners along the project path to prepare for the project and the government’s eventual offer. There may be surveyors and right of way agents analyzing area properties at any time. And, depending on the chosen project type and what NCDOT needs, there is potential for both homeowners and businesses to suffer significant losses.

Homeowners may find traffic uncomfortably close, their entry/exit paths altered, their yards drastically reduced, or even have their homes no longer conforming to the county’s setback standards. Businesses may lose valuable parking, have modified entry/exit, or may also suffer from non-conformance after the taking.

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 as property values in Ballantyne have soared, affected property owners should work to ensure they are fairly compensated.

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 if we take your case.

News and Publications

News & Observer

Charlotte Ledger

Project Maps

US 521 Map 1

US 521 Map 2

US 521 Map 3

Estimated Project Schedule

Right of Way Acquisition – 2024

Start Construction – 2027

End Construction – 2031

Affected Parcels

It is still unclear how many properties and owners will be affected by the US 521 Widening project in Ashe County, but it is estimated that more than 80 parcels will be affected. The project will include a budget of about $5 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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