The Garden Parkway, also known as the Gaston East-West Connector, is a planned toll road approximately 21.9 miles from I-85 west of Gastonia in Gaston County to I-485 near the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in Mecklenburg County with new crossings over the South Fork and Catawba Rivers. The new toll road is estimated to cost about .15 cents per mile and save drivers up to 28 minutes each trip.
The NC Turnpike Authority received a Record of Decision for the Garden Parkway from the Federal Highway Administration, signifying final federal approval of the project’s route -Detailed Study Alternative 9. Approval of the construction permits and final plan of finance is anticipated this summer, followed by contract award. Right-of-way acquisition is scheduled to begin later in 2012, with construction beginning mid-2013 and the project opening to traffic in 2015.
For more specific information on the Garden Parkway, please follow this link to the NCDOT.
The North Carolina Turnpike Authority is authorized to develop and operate up to nine toll facilities in the state. Any toll facility developed in the state must have a free alternate route so motorists can have a choice to take the freeway or pay a toll for quicker access to their destination. Also, the NCTA cannot toll existing roadways.
To be selected for consideration as a toll road, projects must meet certain criteria:
Roadway type-The road must have full control of access.
Project location- The road must have a "free" parallel route.
Project feasibility- The road must have a high probability of being able to start construction within a reasonable time frame.
Local support- The road should have demonstrated local support or a reasonable expectation of support for development as a toll facility.
Financial feasibility- The road should be deemed to be financially feasible using available data and commercially reasonable assumptions.
Statewide or regional significance -Special consideration should be given to those projects that would play a significant role in the statewide or regional highway system or serve major economic generators.