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NCDOT map shows proposed roundabout at Kanuga Road and White Street. NCDOT map shows proposed roundabout at Kanuga Road and White Street.

Motorists will see major changes at Hendersonville’s south gateway if the NCDOT completes construction plans that the City Council endorsed on Wednesday.

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 During a special meeting, the council unanimously endorsed a two-lane roundabout where Church, Main and King streets converge, one-lane roundabouts at Hebron and Willow roads and at Kanuga Road and White Street.

The last one was the most controversial, drawing strong opposition from businesses near that intersection. It appears that the work will require the state to buy and demolish a veterinary office on White Street, part of the hair salon building and the carwash across from Norm’s Minit Mart.
Right of way acquisition is scheduled for 2019 with construction slated to start in 2021.

Council members who had asked for drawings that showed in greater detail the impact of the Kanuga-White Street roundabout compared to an upgraded intersection with stoplights said they were surprised that the roundabout required less taking of property. 
“It’s clear that this one does reduces the amount of property that is taken in creating this intersection and that is why I was agreeable to go with a roundabout,” Councilman Jeff Miller said.

Mayor Barbara Volk and council members Steve Caraker said while the roundabout takes business property, it appeared to be the least disruptive choice.

“I know people don’t want us to do anything but that’s not an option,” Volk said.

“By the time we get $160 million spent on I-26 from the South Carolina line to Weaverville it’s going to be overcapacity,” Caraker said. “We can’t just keep kicking the can down the road.”

Stephens said: “I’m told by some of my friends that are older than I am that when they did Four Seasons Boulevard people fought that. They wanted them to continue to go down Seventh Avenue. And when they did Spartanburg Highway they fought that because they went from two lanes to five lanes and there were houses there.”