Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Incident Bypass signs proliferate as I-26 widening ramps up

Motorists around town may have noticed yellow “Incident Bypass” signs atop the familiar blue I-26 signs at many major intersections in Henderson County.


The new signs are accompanied by improvements to stop lights along I-26 alternate routes. Both are a part of an “Incident Corridor Management system,” according to David Uchiyama, communications officer for the NCDOT in Western North Carolina. The system “would be utilized to direct traffic in case of emergency such as the closure of I-26 between I-40 and U.S. 64,” he said.
Contractors are widening I-26 from I-40 in Buncombe County to the U.S. 64 (Four Seasons Boulevard) in Hendersonville.

Jimmy Brissie, Emergency Services director for Henderson County, said that the NCDOT has been discussing alternate routes along I-26 with emergency responders in Henderson and Buncombe counties for more than a year. The alternate routes are in place in case of a closure, he said, such as an accident along the construction zone during the widening of I-26. Contract tow trucks will also be in place to help clear the road as quickly as possible in the event of a crash.

For years, motorists have been navigating around closures using Asheville Highway, Four Seasons Boulevard, Church and King streets, Spartanburg Highway and Upward Road, Brissie said, “but the additional signage and markings, they’re put in place to help folks that maybe aren’t from this area.”

Although a closure will be an inconvenience, Brissie said, the alternate routes are sufficient to handle traffic. “Hopefully, by putting these measures in place, those will be limited in quantity and limited in duration,” he said.