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Here's what road projects the city ranks highest

Fixing the congested and time-wasting intersection of U.S. 25 and North Main Street and five other widening or safety improvements projects in and around Hendersonville top the City Council’s nominations for inclusion in the state’s next transportation improvement plan.


City Manager John Connet presented the staff’s recommendation on the highest ranked projects based on safety and traffic flow minutes after the council and city residents had talked at length about problems in the Five Points area. Traffic flow was the major area of disagreement when the council discussed the new Hendersonville High School project earlier in the meeting. NCDOT engineer Lonnie Watkins told the council that the agency is already working on plans for a right-turn lane from North Main onto U.S. 25 North.
North Main at Asheville Highway is “the most critical intersection in our community that needs to be addressed,” Connet said. Through improvements “2.5 million vehicle hours could be saved.” Besides the North Main intersection, other projects on the city’s top 7 list are Duncan Hill Road, Blythe Street, Thompson Street and Signal Hill Drive intersection, Clear Creek Road to Howard Gap Road and Berkeley Road from North Main to Asheville Highway. The top-ranked greenway project was an extension of the Oklawaha Greenway from I-26 to Howard Gap Road.
Councilman Steve Caraker, the city’s representative on the county Transportation Advisory Committee, said he’s seen many of  the proposed improvements on city and county lists of needs since he first joined the City Council.
“A lot of these projects have been sitting around for 12 years,” he said. “What I’ll do with council approval is I’ll take this back to the TAC. We’ll throw them in the middle of the table and see what everybody says about it.”
Henderson County and cities in the county are all ranking their top seven projects in a process that, through the French Broad MPO, will produce an updated list of road and greenway projects to compete for funding from the state.