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Road updates: I-26, Kanuga Road, White Street, U.S. 64 roundabouts, N.C. 191

The widening of I-26 in Henderson County from the Buncombe line to Four Seasons Boulevard is about 25 percent complete and a little behind schedule because of weather, Lonnie Watkins, the NCDOT engineer for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties, told the Henderson County Transportation Advisory Committee last week.

Watkins also reported that the Kanuga Road widening has been pushed beyond the current State Transportation Improvement Plan. The project now has a construction date of 2040. “It’s so far out they just put a date out in the future,” Watkins said.
In projects related to the I-26 widening:
• Clear Creek Road, which had been closed while a replacement bridge went up, is scheduled to reopen Monday.
• Brookside Camp Road is scheduled to close May 3 for 14 days in order to shift the roadway from the old bridge to the new span.
• Butler Bridge Road bridge is being constructed in place. The project is on schedule and the road is expected to reopen on Sept. 11.
• I-26 will be closed April 27, 28 and 29 for the demolition of the old Clear Creek bridge.

Watkins also reported on the status of other projects, many of which have been delayed because of the DOT’s cash shortage a year ago. Projects in the pipeline include:

• U.S. 64 improvements with roundabouts in Laurel Park: Right of way acquisition is scheduled to start in June with a contract let date of May 2024.
• Improvements at Five Points as part of the new Hendersonville High School: NCDOT is constructing a left turn lane into the school’s new parking lot off Church Street and adding a right turn lane into it. The project also includes pedestrian safety improvements such as new crosswalks. The DOT expects to complete the work in summer 2022.
• White Street widening and extension: Right of way scheduled for December 2022, contract let in October 2025.
• N.C. 191 widening: Currently in right of way acquisition, contract let in July 2023.
• North Highland Lake Road widening: Bids opened last month exceeded engineers' projection by $3½ million, forcing the NCDOT to reject them all. The project is being rebid out of Raleigh. Contract let date is May 21.
• Green River bridge on I-26: Improvements are scheduled to start Aug. 15.
• Major drainage repair project on the Saluda grade: Contract scheduled to be let June 15.
• Kanuga Lake Road. Culvert replacement is under way. Road is scheduled to open at the end of this week.

A county resident signed on to the virtual meeting to express concern about the poor condition of many major arteries in Hendersonville, specifically North Main Street, King and Church streets, Seventh Avenue East in the Historic Seventh Avenue District and Signal Hill Road.
“These roads are just terrible,” Louie Zambrowski said. “I’ve been here for eight years. They were terrible eight years ago and they’re worse now.”
Later, Watkins responded to Zambrowski’s complaint.
“Most of the roads that were mentioned are DOT roads, not city streets,” he said. “We have a resurfacing program” funded each year by the General Assembly. “A number of roads that you mentioned are scheduled for resurfacing.”
Church and King are scheduled to be repaved in the summer of 2022 at the same time the city plans to complete major utility work on Church Street.
“A number of other ones are either programmed over the next few years or have been identified as being in need of resurfacing,” Watkins said.