Statewide NCDOT is currently going through their Prioritization 6.0 process, handled by SPOT (Strategic Prioritization Office). For Henderson County, this means the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), along with the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), have worked to produce a list of 24 potential road projects for consideration. (The TAC public input survey on these potential road projects will be open until August 14.)
From this list of 24 potential projects, the TAC can only select seven road projects to move forward at the August 21 TAC meeting. The Flat Rock village council has a council member as a representative on this committee. The TAC will then send their designated projects to the MPO, which will include those in their overall list from the five counties they cover.
Inclusion on this list does not mean that all or even any of the seven projects in Henderson County will be approved or funded, but it does mean that any selected projects will begin the process of evaluation as to whether or not they should be approved.
Of the 24 listed potential highway projects, three are close to the Flat Rock village boundaries and will affect traffic in the village, and two are in the village itself. Since these projects are just at the beginning of the process, there are no detailed plans as to exactly what they might include, but there are indications if you know the definitions of certain words NCDOT uses:
- Modernization: generally the widening of the roadbed and dampening of curves; sometimes involving the addition of curb and gutter
- Intersection improvements: generally evaluation of the need for adding turn lanes and widening intersection areas as well as installing roundabouts
- Access management: generally the widening of the roadbed at certain points to add turn lanes at selected cross-streets
Projects inside Flat Rock village limits:
- C29: Erkwood Drive from Kanuga Road to Greenville Highway – intersection improvements, modernization
- C35: West Blue Ridge Road from Greenville Highway (The Wrinkled Egg) to Roper Road – modernization
These two projects involve widening the roadbed and dampening curves as well as additional construction. Erkwood Drive is in both the county and the village; the section in the village runs east from the village’s western limit just before Kanuga Road almost to Rutledge Drive. Erkwood Drive from Rutledge Drive to Greenville Highway is in the county. West Blue Ridge Road is also partly in the village and partly in the county. [Please note that project C18 (Greenville Highway between Little River Road and West Blue Ridge Road) has been removed from the list.]
The village council will be considering whether or not to support either of these two projects at their August 8 council meeting.
Projects outside (but nearby) Flat Rock village limits:
- C17: Greenville Highway (NC 225) from Spartanburg Highway (near Fresh Market) south to the Erkwood Drive roundabout – modernization, access management
- C20: Shepherd Street/Airport Road from Greenville Highway to Tracey Grove Road – intersection improvements, modernization
- C27: State Street from Hebron Road to Kanuga Road – intersection improvements, modernization
The complete SPOT 6.0 schedule can be found on the MPO website. Once the TAC finalizes the seven Henderson County projects, they will forward these to the MPO. At the October 2019 MPO meeting, the MPO board will finalize the list from the five counties they cover.
After various public comment periods and evaluation from NCDOT, the final list of approved projects will become part of the STIP 2022-2031 document, due in April 2021. As you can see, this is a long process with many steps.