NCDOT hosts Bypass community meetings

by Eren Tataragasi

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s N.C. Turnpike Authority will host two meetings next week to update the community on the status of the proposed Monroe Bypass, which hit a snag last month.

The fourth circuit court of appeals ruled in May that the NCDOT violated federal mandates by not conducting the appropriate environmental impact studies, thereby manipulating the actual results showing the “need” for the construction of the bypass.

The NCDOT has filed an appeal of the ruling and is waiting to hear back from the court.

But while they wait, the NCDOT and Turnpike Authority are continuing to obtain right-of-ways for the possible construction of the bypass.

Community meetings are scheduled for Monday, June 18 at Next Level Church, 4317 Stevens Mill Road, in Stallings, and Tuesday, June 19 at Union County Agricultural Center, 3230 Presson Road, in Monroe.

Both meetings are from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with identical presentations regarding the project’s legal, environment and construction status scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. each night. During the meetings, the public will have a chance to ask questions and meet with right-of-way agents regarding schedules, relocation and assistance programs.

Various project materials will be on display such as large-scale maps, roadway designs and proposed aesthetics for the toll road. 

The proposal for the Monroe Bypass is for 19.7 miles of highway from U.S. 74 at Interstate 485 in Matthews to U.S. 74 between Wingate and Marshville.   

A group of property owners along Independence Commerce Drive in Matthews have vowed to spend about $160,000 to extend the road to Stevens Mill Road in hopes of preserving their livelihoods. Businesses along Independence Commerce will lose direct access to Independence Boulevard/U.S. 74, when the bypass is built because Independence Commerce is a dead-end street. But construction to connect Independence Commerce to Stevens Mill Road won’t begin until the bypass is a sure thing, property owner Roger Martin said recently.

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