Open House Public Meeting

Regarding Proposed Improvements

to Cox Road between I-85 and U.S. 29/74

February 15, 2024

4-7 PM

Gastonia Police Station

200 E. Long Avenue

Gastonia 

(no formal presentation)

Project Overview

NCDOT and local transportation agency staff have identified a number of needs in the project vicinity, including:

  • Congestion queueing (backup line) near the CaroMont Regional Medical Center (just northwest of the study area) is causing pressure on nearby intersections

  • Improved north-south and east-west vehicular connectivity

  • Improved pedestrian corridors in and around the study area 

Based on the above needs, NCDOT intends to improve the Cox Road intersection and the roadway approaches in order to alleviate queues and to make operational improvements at the intersection. A secondary objective is to improve pedestrian mobility at and around the intersection.

 

Functional plans for four concepts were prepared:

  • Concept 1 (“Enhanced Conventional”) 

    • an at-grade intersection with additional northbound and southbound lanes on Cox/Armstrong Park Road

  • Concept 2 (“South Bound Elevated Lefts”) 

    • a grade separated intersection.  In this design, the southbound left-turn lanes from Cox Road would be bridged over Franklin Boulevard

  • Concept 3 (“North-south Elevated Throughs”) 

    • a grade separated intersection. Northbound and southbound through movements would be bridged over Franklin Boulevard

    • proposed in the Franklin Boulevard study and referred to as Alternative 1 in the Franklin Boulevard Corridor Access and Alternative Development Mobility Strategy

  • Concept 4 (“Southbound Displaced Lefts”)

    • an at-grade intersection with partial displaced left-turn (continuous flow) lanes from southbound Cox Road onto eastbound Franklin Boulevard

 

​There were no concepts developed for a new location.

Based on studies performed in 2019, Concepts 2 and 3 have been eliminated from further consideration since they hinder further development in the area, negatively impact future plans for light rail, and have high cost.

 

Project History

The 2050 Metropolitan Transportation Plan Adopted March 2022, defines Cox Road as a recommended project that complies with the requirements of the Clean Air Act.   

The Gaston-Cleveland-Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization’s 2040 Comprehensive Transportation Plan identified this stretch of Cox Road as “needs improvement” in both highway and pedestrian categories.

The City of Gastonia included the intersection of Cox Road/ Armstrong Road and Franklin Boulevard in the 2016 Franklin Boulevard Corridor Access and Alternative Development Mobility Strategy recognizing that this location is vital to the safety and mobility of the traveling public in the region as well as the traffic capacity of the overall facility.

This stretch of Cox Road currently serves 31,700 to 45,530 vehicles per day.  

Preliminary engineering and environmental studies began in 2018 but were halted in August of 2019. Project U-6044 was restarted in April of 2023. Previously completed studies are being evaluated for current validity.

As U.S. 29/74 (Franklin Boulevard is a parallel route to Interstate 85 and Cox Road is a crucial connector between the two, NCDOT proposes to combine Project U-6044 with two other projects, I-5719 and U-5800 for construction. (for information on projects I-5719 and U-5800, please visit https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/i-85-widening-gaston-county/Pages/default.aspx)

I-5719:

This project would improve approximately 10 miles of Interstate 85 from the U.S. 321 interchange (Exit 17) in Gastonia to the N.C. 273 interchange (Exit 27) in Mount Holly.  

Work would involve widening I-85 in the project area from six to eight lanes, upgrading interchanges, relocating/replacing roadway and railroad bridges

U-5800:

This project proposes to improve the intersection of U.S. 29/74 and N.C. 7 in Belmont.


CONCEPT 1

Click on the map below to open it in a new window for downloading or ease of viewing.

Typical Section

Concept 1 - Enhanced Traditional Intersection

Looking North toward I-85 at East Franklin Boulevard

               Southbound Traffic                                         Northbound Traffic 

The information below relates to the improvements depicted above

Improvements proposed:

Southbound Cox Road

Currently, one thru lane southbound, two left turn lanes onto Franklin Boulevard and one right-turn lane onto Franklin Boulevard

 Northbound Cox Road

Currently, two thru lanes from Armstrong Park Road and merging right turn lane from Franklin Boulevard 

  • Addition of one through lane onto Armstrong Park Road

  • Addition of a 7-foot wide raised concrete median separating north and south bound traffic on Cox Road

  • Addition of a 5-foot sidewalk separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median on the west side

  • Conversion of right turn lane from Franklin Boulevard to a through lane 

  • Addition of a 10-foot multi-use path separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median on the east side

Southbound Armstrong Park Road

Currently, one lane southbound 

Northbound Armstrong Park Road

Currently, two thru lanes northbound, one left turn lane onto Franklin Boulevard and one right turn lane onto Franklin Boulevard 

  • Addition of one southbound lane

  • Addition of a 4-foot wide raised concrete median separating north and south bound traffic

  • Addition of a 5-foot sidewalk separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median 

  • Conversion of existing left turn lane onto Franklin Boulevard to a though lane northbound

    • Removal of left turn onto Franklin Boulevard will allow additional time for left turns from southbound Cox Road onto Franklin Boulevard

  • Addition of a 4-foot wide raised concrete median separating north and south bound traffic

  • Addition of a 5-foot sidewalk separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median on the east side

 

* To turn left from Northbound Armstrong Park Road onto Franklin Boulevard drivers will

  • turn right
  • travel to the U-turn lane located a short distance away 
  • make a u-turn rhen proceed on Franklin Boulevard

Question title

Do you have questions or comments on the *Concept 1* proposed *Southbound* Cox Road/Armstrong Park Road* improvements?

Question title

Do you have questions or comments on the *Concept 1* proposed *Northbound* Cox Road/Armstrong Park Road* improvements?


CONCEPT 4

Click on the map below to open it in a new window for downloading or ease of viewing.

Typical Section

Concept 4 - Continuous Flow Intersection

Looking North toward I-85 at East Franklin Boulevard

               Southbound Traffic                    Northbound Traffic                    Southbound Left Turning Traffic

 

Concept 4 includes a continuous flow intersection 

The information below relates to the improvements depicted above

Improvements proposed:

Southbound Cox Road

Currently, one thru lane southbound onto Armstrong Park Road, two left turn lanes onto Franklin Boulevard and one right-turn lane onto Franklin Boulevard

Northbound Cox Road

Currently, two thru lanes from Armstrong Park Road and merging right turn lane from Franklin Boulevard 

  • Conversion of one left turn lane to a thru lane onto Armstrong Park Road

  •  Addition of a 7-foot wide raised concrete median separating north and south bound traffic

  • Addition of a 5-foot sidewalk separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median on the west side

Continuous flow specific improvements 

  • Two new lanes for southbound left turns will be constructed on the east side of the existing north bound lanes

  • Left turn lanes onto Franklin Boulevard will be directed by traffic signals to cross over northbound traffic into the two new lanes 

  • A 6-foot wide median will separate the southbound turn lanes and northbound lanes of Cox Road 

  • Conversion of right turn lane from Franklin Boulevard to a through lane 

  • Addition of a 15-foot wide raised concrete median separating north and south bound traffic

  • Addition of a 6-foot wide raised concrete median separating northbound Cox Road traffic from southbound left turning traffic (onto Franklin Boulevard

  • Addition of a 10-foot multi-use path separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median on the east side

 

 

​Southbound Armstrong Park Road

Currently, one lane southbound 

Northbound Armstrong Park Road.

Currently, two thru lanes northbound, one left turn lane onto Franklin Boulevard and one right turn lane onto Franklin Boulevard 

  • Addition of one southbound lane

  • Addition of a 4-foot raised concrete median separating north and south bound traffic on Armstrong Park Road

  • Addition of a 5-foot sidewalk separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median 

  • Addition of one thru lane onto Franklin Boulevard 

    • ​Three thru lanes will continue north onto Cox Road

  • Addition of a 4-foot wide raised concrete median separating north and south bound traffic on Armstrong Park Road

  • Addition of a 5-foot sidewalk separated from traffic by a 5-foot plantable median on the east side

  • Left turn onto Franklin Boulevard will be accomplished by right turn and U-turn

 

* To turn left from Northbound Armstrong Park Road onto Franklin Boulevard drivers will

  • turn right

  • travel to the U-turn lane located a short distance away 

  • make a u-turn then proceed on Franklin Boulevard

 

Question title

Do you have questions or comments on the Concept 4 proposed Southbound Cox Road/Armstrong Park Road improvements?

Continuous Flow design comments should be provided in the question below

Question title

Do you have questions or comments on the Concept 4 proposed Northbound Cox Road/Armstrong Park Road improvements?

Franklin Boulevard Improvements

The following information is the same for both Concepts.

Eastbound Franklin Boulevard 

Westbound Franklin Boulevard

  • Addition of left turn lanes onto Northbound Cox Road

  • Addition of left turn lanes onto Southbound Armstrong Park Road

 

Typical Section - Franklin Boulevard

Question title

Do you have questions or comments on the proposed (east/west) Franklin Boulevard improvements?

Question title

Do you have questions or comments on the proposed southbound Continuous Flow Lanes?

Question title

After reviewing the information above, which concept do you prefer?

Select a response

Question title

If you stated neither, please tell us why.

Project Funding

 

 

Estimated Cost* 

Utility Cost

  $    1.5 Million   

Right of Way Acquisition

$  16.0 Million   

Construction

$    9.5 Million   

Total Cost

   $  27.0 Million   

* Costs shown are estimates and subject to change

Project Timeline

 

 

Estimated Date* 

Environmental Document

May 2024

Design Build Award for Construction with projects           I-5719 and U-5800

November 2024

Right of Way Acquisition and Construction Begins

To Be Determined

*  Future dates are subject to change

Project Comments

NCDOT accepts comments throughout all phases of project development.  

All comments will be taken into consideration, and carry equal weight, regardless of submittal method.

To submit comments for consideration during the current phase of project development,

please submit before March 1, 2024


The public is encouraged to leave comments using this webpage, email, or phone number:

 

Email: Cox-Road-Gastonia@publicinput.com

Phone Number: 984-205-6615     enter project code 4919 to leave a message.

Project Contacts

Nora McCann, EIT 

Gail F. Kogut, PE

Project Manager

Consultant Project Manager

NCDOT Project Management Unit

Weston & Sampson Engineers

1582 Mail Service Center

2052 Energy Drive

Raleigh, NC  27699-1582

Apex, NC  27502-8722

 

Question title

Would you like to sign up to receive email updates on the project?

 

RESOURCES FOR PROPERTY OWNERS 


Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.  

     
Right-of-Way Brochure Single Page Layout      Folleto del Proceso de Adquisición de Bienes Raíces
Right-of-Way Frequently Asked Questions

Right of way Acquisition Process Videos

English                                                                     Spanish

  

 

 

Design Build Process

These three projects may be combined for construction as a design-build project. This is an alternative delivery process that differs from most typical roadway projects. The design-build process allows NCDOT to hire a team of designers and contractors that is responsible for the design, right of way acquisition, and construction of a project. The team may begin construction of one portion of the project while they finish the design and right of way acquisition for others, usually resulting in faster completion. Other potential benefits to a design-build project may be innovative solutions and quicker resolution to problems that arise during design and construction. This process may provide additional alternatives or modifications to the existing alternatives, which may reduce costs and/or impacts