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NPS OKs environmental impact statement for new Parkway bridge spanning I-26

The National Park Service has OK'd the final environmental impact statement for the replacement of the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge over I-26, part of the 22.2-mile widening of the interstate from I-40/I-240 to the U.S. 25 Connector (exit 54).

The National Park Service is a cooperating agency for the project, and has been involved in the project planning, preparation, and analysis that are documented in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. The agency announced Friday that it would adopt the NCDOT document.
The planned widening of I-26 will require the replacement of the existing piers for the Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge because of their proximity to the interstate roadway. The selected action realigns a short portion of the Parkway and requires construction of a new bridge spanning I-26 south of the existing bridge. The new bridge will be 606-feet long, with two 10-foot lanes, three-foot shoulders, and a five-foot sidewalk on one side to accommodate the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. There is also additional parking for the Mountains-to-Sea Trail planned on part of the old Parkway motor road alignment.

The Parkway will remain open during the multi-year construction of the new bridge and demolition of the existing bridge. The construction project includes widening I‐26 from U.S. 25 (Exit 54) south of Hendersonville to U.S. 25 (Asheville Highway Exit 44) to six lanes facility and widening from U.S. 25 (Asheville Highway, Exit 44) to I‐40/I‐240 to eight lanes.