Six Road Projects Set For The Next 10 Years


April 9, 2018

The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) has six projects, including improvements to Wilson Road, scheduled over the next 10 years in Transylvania County.

The six projects are part of the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

“We are upgrading (Wilson Road) to a 20-foot paved roadway, with 6-foot grass shoulders,” said Wanda Austin, a DOT development project engineer. “It’s currently 18 feet with 4-foot grass shoulders.”

She said the upgrade will go along Wilson Road from the Old Hendersonville Highway to U.S. 276. Wilson Road will be realigned with Ecusta Road, and a new bridge will be built over the French Broad River.

“We will be replacing the bridge there now with a longer bridge along the flood plain that’s going through there,” Austin said. “The bridge itself will have two 11-foot lanes and then 3-foot shoulders, so it will be a 30-foot wide bridge.”

The roadway itself, she said, will be a 12-foot lane, with 4-foot shoulders.

The project is scheduled to begin July 2021 and has an estimated cost of $9.4 million.

The second project is an intersection improvement plan at the entrance to Pisgah Forest, including U.S. 276, U.S. 64 and N.C. 280.

“There are two alternatives with this,” Austin said. “One is a signalized intersection, and the other is a roundabout at the intersection.”

The project is scheduled to begin construction March 2021, while the estimated cost is $6.4 million.

There will be a public outreach meeting scheduled tentatively for the end of May. The DOT is still finalizing the details of the meeting.

“We’ve done the initial traffic analysis, but we need to have the public input to be able to determine which alternative to choose,” Austin said.

The third project is a three-lane section of road going into the forest up to the Avery Creek Trailhead from the previously mentioned intersection.

“The goal is to relieve some of the congestion going in and out of Pisgah Forest, and to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians,” Austin said.

She said the DOT has been awarded a grant from the Eastern Federal Lands for a 50/50 split in funding, of which the total project is estimated to be $3.5 million.

“There isn’t a whole lot of detail on it yet, and the reason for that is because it’s a federal grant, and we can’t start working on it until we have an agreement with Eastern Federal Lands, and that process has not yet started,” Austin said. “We have a concept and know what we want to do, and we are working with the U.S. Forest Service in refining that as much as possible before we get started.”

The project was scheduled to begin in 2019, but until the agreement is made, she said it could get pushed out to 2020, or to later in 2021.

The fourth project is the Davidson River Connecter, connecting U.S. 64 to U.S. 276, which is currently under construction.

“We have had some construction issues with that and had to redo the bridge, and so the project is not on its original schedule,” Austin said.

Construction began March 2016, and it was originally scheduled to be completed in November 2017. However, since she said the project has been delayed, it could be April 2019 before it is completed.

“The project is contracted for $6.6 million, and the department has paid $5.2 million thus far,” Austin said.

The fifth project is an access management route going from the Fortune Cove Road/Asheville Highway intersection, where Food Matters is located, to U.S. 64 Business (N. Caldwell Street).

“It’s a section of U.S. 64 that is currently five lanes and it is being converted to a four-lane divided facility, and there will be roundabout options with this project, which we will be showing at a public meeting tentatively scheduled for May 17,” Austin said.

Beginning of construction is scheduled for January 2021, and the project has an estimated cost of $16.4 million.

The final project, the Davidson River pedestrian bridge, will connect the multi-use path that runs along Davidson River to US 276.

“Transylvania County will be funding 20 percent of the $300,000 project, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will fund 80 percent,” Austin said.

“There is no schedule for this one yet, and not many details,” Austin said. “We’ve got a consultant on board, and we are meeting with the U.S. Forest Service, Transylvania County and the City of Brevard next week to begin planning,” Austin said.


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