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February 20, 2019

Gather for I-26 Widening Meeting

The potential start date for construction on Interstate 26 is creeping closer.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting next week regarding the proposed widening of I-26 between U.S. 25 south of Hendersonville and the I-26/I-40/I-240 interchange.
The meeting will take place from 4-7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, at Biltmore Baptist Church, Arden campus 35 Clayton Road, Arden.
NCDOT will provide updates about the project, share new information about the design, and provide opportunities to discuss the project one-on-one with the design team and NCDOT officials. The updates include a tentative schedule, a decision on the U.S. 25 interchange, a decision on the U.S. 64 interchange, and new information for river users during construction.
Right of way acquisition is scheduled for this year and construction is slated to start in 2019.
Transportation and local officials have selected to install a diverging diamond interchange at Asheville Highway/U.S. 25 (Exit 44) which is similar to the I-26/Airport Road interchange, but with improved turning accommodations. Selecting the diverging diamond instead of a partial cloverleaf reduces the number of relocations from 11 to zero, and the number of impacted properties from 43 down to 11.
Officials have also chosen a partial cloverleaf with enhanced left turns for the interchange with U.S. 64/Four Seasons Boulevard (Exit 49). This design keeps two of the existing loop ramps and directs all exiting vehicles from I-26 to make right turns onto Four Seasons Blvd. It also includes lanes designed to move all traffic patterns more efficiently and includes accommodations for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The NCDOT is also developing initial safety plans for kayakers and other boaters who pass under I-26 on the French Broad River. NCDOT will provide a safe passage lane in the water that will include navigational aids to reduce the risk of accidents.
The public may attend the meeting at any time as no formal presentation will be made. Representatives will be available to answer questions and listen to comments.
Interested parties may submit comments at the meeting, or over the phone, via email or mail until May 1. Those comments will be considered as the project develops.
Information and materials may also be viewed as they become available at https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/i26Widening/.
For additional information or to submit comments, contact Wanda Austin, NCDOT Division 14 Project Development Engineer, at 253 Webster Road, Sylva, NC 28779, (828) 586-2141 or whaustin@ncdot.gov; or Cole Hood, NCDOT Division 13 Project Development Engineer, at 55 Orange Street, Asheville, N.C. 28801, (828) 251-6171, or chood@ncdot.gov; or Kat Bukowy, consultant, at 343 East Six Forks Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27609, (919) 424-0441 or kbukowy@hntb.com.
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Caitlyn Ridge, Environmental Analysis Unit, at ceridge1@ncdot.gov or (919) 707-6091 as early as possible so arrangements can be made.
Persons who do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.

About The Author

Andy has worked in broadcasting around Western North Carolina over the last 17 years. He serves as the Operations Manager and Program Director for WRGC and WBHN. “I’ve been with the crew here at Five Forty Broadcasting since the idea of bringing the station back to Jackson County at 540-AM. I feel a personal connection with community radio and the area”. In the past, Andy has worked with iHeart Media and Sky Country Broadcasting. He resides in Haywood County.

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