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NCDOT proposes three roundabouts in south gateway plan

NCDOT plans for the southern part of the city show roundabouts at Willow and Hebron (far left), Kanuga Road and White Street and where South Main, Church and King come together (top left). Plans also call for a White Street extension (left) that would run NCDOT plans for the southern part of the city show roundabouts at Willow and Hebron (far left), Kanuga Road and White Street and where South Main, Church and King come together (top left). Plans also call for a White Street extension (left) that would run

Dramatic changes are in store at Hendersonville’s south gateway if new traffic patterns proposed by state transportation engineers win approval.

N.C. Department of Transportation plans show a roundabout where South Church, South King and South Main streets converge, new bridges over Mud Creek on White Street and South Main Street and an extension of White Street east from Greenville Highway to Spartanburg Highway.
NCDOT engineers described the plans and listened to public input at a drop-in meeting on Nov. 16 at the City Operations Center. The changes would come as Publix is moving quickly on construction of its first Hendersonville store, adding a big traffic generator to the busy Greenville Highway-Spartanburg Highway intersection that’s already home to three supermarkets, four standalone drugstores and other retailers.
“They’re still doing preliminary design,” City Manager John Connet said of the new plans. “They’re still evaluating different routes.”
Two combined improvement projects extend from the intersection of Willow and Hebron roads on the western end to the White Street extension on the east. Plans as they’re now drawn show roundabouts at Willow and Hebron, at Kanuga Road and White Street and where South Main, Church and King merge.
The White Street extension would be a four-lane roadway running behind Walgreens and Wendy’s and directly through the Jones Commercial Properties building at Spartanburg property.
“We’re talking to them,” owner Gary Jones said. “They’re talking two or three years down the road.”
It appeared the White Street extension would take the Loft restaurant building, too, and could cause Wendy’s and Walgreens to pull out of leases because of the loss of parking, said Jones, a commercial real estate broker.
Eastbound traffic on White Street would T into Spartanburg Highway, at a new stoplight and two right-turn only lanes.
Council members have asked questions about “how it impacted some of the businesses along White Street, particularly on the other side of Greenville Highway,” Connet said.
The DOT plans also call for replacing the four-lane bridge over Mud Creek on South Main with a new structure five lanes wide.
Although the plans show roundabouts at Willow and Hebron and Kanuga Road and White Street, alternate designs also indicate a signalized intersection on Kanuga or stop signs at Willow and Hebron.

Commercial property owners along the proposed White Street extension and at the Kanuga-White Street intersection have begun to voice opposition to the plans, City Councilman Steve Caraker said Thursday night after he had outlined a major rollback of NCDOT's plans to widen Kanuga.

“We’re going to have to do this whole thing again on White Street,” he said. "Because the two plans submitted the other night have stirred up a lot of controversy already."