SEABROOK SAYS: Charles Gray is a highly-respected attorney who is now retired and who has great concern about the welfare of Gaston County. Read about his concern for lower Gaston County and the access from there to the Charlotte area. NOW THAT YOU KNOW, WHAT WILL YOU DO?
The other day, I traveled through Tega Cay, part of Highway 49 and River Hills. I was amazed at the growth and vibrant activity in those areas. I continued on and saw new schools and new residential areas until I crossed into Gaston County on Union Road. It was like going back in time – nothing but open, undeveloped land, all the way to Gastonia. The same existed along New Hope Road. No activity.
The Garden State Parkway would have changed this, but the wisdom (or lack thereof) of our legislators killed that project. But Gaston County has one last chance. With the announced residential and commercial project in Mecklenburg County, extending from I-485 to the river, the need for access becomes a priority. The new southern bridge over the Catawba River gains more importance.
With the new bridge, we could see a road from I-485 cross the river and connect to New Hope Road. With cooperation between private land developers, the Federal Government, the NC DOT, Gaston County, Belmont, Cramerton and Gastonia, improvements could be made to New Hope Road and connect it to I-485. This would open up southern Gaston County to unbelievable development and provide needed access to the new Mecklenburg County development and the intermodal transportation center at the airport.
Gaston County would leave the dark ages and charge into the 21st century. This, however, takes determined leadership at all levels. Will our leaders act or let another opportunity go by? It’s now or never.