The history of Wilkinson Boulevard is something to be proud of.
Long before its current condition, Wilkinson Boulevard was a corridor that drew well-deserved attention. The first 4-lane paved highway in the state of North Carolina, the boulevard formed a segment of US-74, an important route connecting the expanse of the state from beyond the mountainous border with Tennessee all the way to the sea and passing the state's major cities of Asheville, Charlotte, and Wilmington along the way.
Thanks to local boy-made-good William Cook Wilkinson, the boulevard opened in 1926 to connect the banking industry of downtown Charlotte with the thriving textile mill industry of Gaston County, the history of which the area still celebrates today through initiatives like the Carolina Thread Trail which has trails in close proximity to Wilkinson Boulevard and the Build a Better Boulevard project's corridor study area.
Previous study on the Wilkinson Boulevard corridor:
Begun in 1991, the planning process of the Belmont Peninsula Study was undertaken by Michael Gallis & Associates, Belmont Abbey College, and the City of Belmont. The Strategic Planning Project culminated in the following report, completed in 1994. Of particular note are pages 40-45 of the report linked below, which specifically discuss the transportation of the Belmont peninsula.
Convened in 2012 at the request of Belmont City Council, the committee was tasked with making specific recommendations on ways for Wilkinson Boulevard to attract business and improve quality of life for the area. The committee developed the following report outlining a vision for the corridor and recommending that council initiate a planning process for Wilkinson Boulevard.