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MPO asks state to kill parkway

With no discussion, the French Broad River MPO voted last month to remove the Balfour Parkway from the state transportation improvement plan, dealing the penultimate blow to kill the project. The last step would take place when the state Board of Transportation as expected votes to eliminate the project from the STIP.

The French Board MPO, which sets highway improvement priorities for Henderson, Buncombe, Haywood counties,
“There was a bunch of people there, maybe 20 or so” parkway opponents on hand, said Henderson County Commissioner Bill Lapsley, who chairs the MPO. “Some folks don’t trust politicians. I don’t know why.” Once the vote was made, “They seemed to be very happy.”
The process to kill the project began with a vote of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners on May 7. The MPO then voted on May 24 to drop the project from the STIP and accepted comments for a month before ratifying the recommendation on June 28.
The state board is expected to act on the regional MPO request in the next couple of months. The board meets Aug. 1-2 and Sept. 5-6 in Raleigh.