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North Carolina gets $100M grant to help widen Interstate 85

NC Department Of Transportation

North Carolina is getting $100 million from last year’s federal infrastructure law to widen an often-congested stretch of Interstate 85 near Charlotte and build amenities for modern travel and communications.

The state Department of Transportation’s award is one of 26 grants nationwide announced on Thursday by the federal government, at a total of $1.5 billion.

The Infrastructure Rebuilding America grant will assist the state DOT to widen 10 miles of I-85 in Gaston County from six to eight lanes, which will include improvements at interchanges, overpasses and railroad bridges.

The money also will help build several miles of sidewalks, bike lanes and paths crossing over the route, as well as install electric-vehicle charging stations and broadband improvements in Gaston and Cleveland counties, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office said.

“Strengthening infrastructure and making transportation safe, clean and more resilient will build a stronger North Carolina,” Cooper said in a news release.

The money originates from the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law. Thursday’s round of competitive grants included money to dismantle Interstate 375, a depressed Detroit freeway built by demolishing Black neighborhoods 60 years ago. The route is being transformed into a street-level boulevard that will reconnect the surrounding neighborhoods.

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