A new restriction on a stretch of Interstate 26 in Asheville targets improved safety and reduced congestion. The N.C. Department of Transportation will unveil signs this week restricting trucks from the far left lane between the French Broad River and Long Shoals Road. The lane restriction should improve safety by reducing congestion-related crashes and driving delays caused by trucks travelling side-by-side uphill toward the Blue Ridge Parkway. The restriction prohibits trucks or truck and trailer combinations with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 26,000 pounds from using the left-most lane of I-26 in either direction. It will also apply during construction and after completion of a project to widen I-26 from I-40 through Hendersonville. The restriction is similar to the regulations in place on I-26 on the Saluda Grade, approaching and exiting the Green River Gorge in Henderson County and between the Tennessee state line and exit 9 in Madison County. Similar restrictions apply to I-40 approaching and on Old Fort Mountain, between exits 33 and 37 in Haywood County and between exit 20 and the Tennessee state line. The restriction is effective immediately and State Highway Patrol will begin enforcement this week.