Although an NCDOT cash shortfall caused widespread delays to dozens of projects statewide, several significant transportation improvements will be in the works over the next four years.
Lonnie Watkins, the chief NCDOT engineer for Henderson County, reported on the status of projects in the county in a meeting Nov. 17 of the Transportation Advisory Committee. Projects include:
- A multiuse path in Mills River along N.C. 280 from N.C. 191 to the French Broad River. A feasibility study and cost projection is under way and expected to be completed in the spring of 2022.
- White Street widening and extension. Right of way acquisition is scheduled to start in December 2022. Construction let date is October 2025.
- The N.C. 191 four-lane project is in right of way acquisition. Contract let date is July 2023.
- U.S. 64 widening and roundabouts from Blythe Street through Laurel Park. Design is complete. The NCDOT worked with the town of Laurel Park on landscape design. Right of way acquisition is under way. Contract let date is May 2024.
- Five Points intersection improvements. The NCDOT is adding a northbound left turn lane and southbound right turn lane into the new Hendersonville High School parking lot.
- Sinkhole on the U.S. 25 connector ramp at I-26. A contractor is working on a solution to “take that water from one side to the other side” and fix the sinkhole, Watkins said.
- I-26 widening. A contractor is currently constructing noise walls at Carolina Village. Construction crews may complete the eastbound rest area by Christmas. All the overpass bridges have been replaced. The widening project, now about 45 percent complete, is on schedule.
- North Highland Lake Road: Utility crews are almost finished moving power lines. A contractor has been chosen but an official construction start date has not been announced.
Watkins also reported that the NCDOT’s study showed that the U.S. 64 at Cummings Road warrants a signal. “So now it’s a matter of obtaining funding for that,” he said. A study of traffic improvements on U.S. 64 from Laurel Park to Pisgah Forest is nearly complete.