The Transylvania Times -

Road Project Listing Heading To State

 

September 25, 2017



A proposed road project list for Transylvania County was approved last week by the Board of Commissioners.

The projects (see below) will now go to the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) for further consideration and possible funding.

The list was created and approved by the county’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), Land of Sky RPO and DOT’s Division 14. TAC receives data on safety, potential costs, congestion and other factors to help make its decision.

The projects go through a lengthy prioritization process, including ranking and scoring by the DOT, and are not guaranteed to be funded.

This is the first step in developing the DOT’s State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

Every two years, the STIP is updated, according to Vicki Eastland, a Rural Planning Organization coordinator with the Land of Sky Regional Council.

The Land of Sky is a multi-county, local government planning and development organization that includes Transylvania, Buncombe, Henderson and Madison counties, and 15 municipalities.

Land of Sky RPO also includes the rural areas of Haywood County.

Eastland explained to commissioners that in Raleigh the projects are ranked and scored along with others in the state. By April, the results should be back and a local prioritization process will include two opportunities for public input.

Eventually, after more community and N.C. Department of Transportation input, the list of funded highway projects will be revealed in December of next year.

Commissioner Page Lemel said it was a “fantastic list” of projects being recommended for Transylvania.

Commissioner Mike Hawkins also referenced other projects that have already been funded and that 2021 will be a “busy year.”

The funded improvements include the U.S. 64/N.C. 280 intersection at Pisgah Forest; modernization of Wilson Road from Ecusta Road to U.S. 276; and “access management” improvements along the Asheville Highway from Food Matters to Caldwell Street.

Eastland said federal funding has also been secured for widening, turn lanes and bikes lanes along U.S. 276 from the Pisgah Forest intersection to Avery Creek Road in the national forest.

Eastland said scoping work, along with planning and design, is already underway on these projects.

Right-of-way acquisition, where necessary, should begin in 2019, with construction starting in 2021.

She said that, hopefully, the connector road currently under construction between the Asheville Highway and the New Hendersonville Highway should be completed before then.

Land of Sky RPO’s current STIP 2018-2027 may be viewed at http://www.landofsky.org/pdf/LGS/RPO/RPO_STIP_2018.pdf

A complete list of Land of Sky RPO projects to be submitted for funding consideration by DOT in this round of prioritization may be found at http://www.landofsky.org/pdf/LGS/RPO/LOSRPO_SPOT5.0_Project_List_NEW.pdf

The following are the proposed road projects for Transylvania County:

•N.C. 280 from Taco Bell to the North Transylvania Fire Department — convert existing 4-lane roadway to a 4-lane divided highway with 17.5-foot medians containing protected turn lanes to increase safety and reduce congestion (projected cost, $32.1 million);

•U.S. 64 from Clement Road to U.S. 178 — widen existing road to 4 -lane divided highway from Brevard to Rosman to reduce congestion and improve economic opportunities (projected cost, $49.8 million);

•Neely Road, including Chestnut Street, Park Avenue and Parkview Drive from U.S. 64 to U.S. 276 — upgrade roadway to modern specifications, with bike lanes on both sides and sidewalk on one side and improve intersections to increase safety and reduce congestion (projected cost, $8.8 million);

•U.S. 64, South Broad Street, South Caldwell Street and North Country Club Road Intersections — upgrade intersection to increase safety and reduce congestion (projected cost, $1.4 million);

•Ecusta Road from U.S. 64 to Wilson Road — upgrade roadway to modern specification and build to complete street standards to increase safety and reduce congestion (projected cost, $10.6 million);

•U.S. 178 from Main Street in Rosman to Middle Fork Road — modernize roadway, with wider lanes and paved shoulders to increase safety and reduce congestion (projected cost, $19.9 million);

•Old Hendersonville Highway from Chestnut Street to Everette Farm Road — improve road conditions, modernize roadway and build to complete street standards (projected cost, $3.1 million);

•West Loop, new route —construct two-lane roadway from U.S. 64 at Chestnut to U.S. 64 south of Brevard, widen existing roadway and construct part on new location to provide alternative local route (projected cost, $38.9 million);

•North Country Club Road from U.S. 64 to Barclay Road — upgrade roadway with sidewalks and paved shoulders (projected cost, $3.6 million); and

•Everette Farm Road from Old Hendersonville Highway to Crab Creek Road — upgrade roadway with wider lanes and paved shoulders (projected cost, $6.7 million).

 
 

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