Shared by IRPO–Nearly 80 Miles to be Repaved in Rutherford County

Work may start this month

ASHEVILLE – About 78.4 miles of road on three federal and state highways, plus sections of 61 other secondary roads will be repaved in Rutherford County.

The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $7.6 million contract to Rogers Group Inc. of Nashville, Tenn., to complete the work. Notable roads to be resurfaced under this contract include:

  • About 5.2 miles of U.S. 64 between Rock Springs Church Road and Cove Road
  • About 3.5 miles of U.S. 221A between Pointer Road and U.S. 74
  • About 1.9 miles of Tryon Road (N.C. 108) between the Polk County line and JJ Guffy Road

The Department awarded the contract in June 2018, and construction may start this July. The contractor has until October 2019 to complete the projects.

This was one of 25 road and bridge contracts recently awarded by the N.C. Department of Transportation. Per state law they went to the lowest qualified bidder for each project. The contracts are worth nearly $630 million.


Shared by IRPO–Old McDowell County Bridges Getting Replaced

Short detours established during construction

MARION – A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will be closing two secondary roads in McDowell County in order to replace aging bridges.

Graham County Land Company will close Old Linville Road to replace a 60-year-old bridge over the Pond Branch and another 60-year-old bridge on Tater Town Loop over Katy Creek. These bridges no longer meet current design standards.

Crews will close the roads on Thursday and have until Nov. 9 to complete the construction at a cost of $829,301. Both bridges will be removed and new aluminum box culverts will be installed.

The detour for old Linville Road directs traffic to U.S. 221, then to North Cove Road, then back to Old Linville Road. The detour for Tater Town Loop takes drivers to Lake Lamar Loop then to Tater Town Loop.

Transportation officials remind motorists to drive with caution, obey all posted signs and slow down in work zones.

For real-time travel information, visit


Shared by IRPO–Storm Repairs Continue in Polk County

One Mile stretch of Howard Gap to be closed

MILLS RIVER – Another project to repair a road damaged by the natural disasters of May is set to start.

A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will close a one-mile stretch of Howard Gap Road in Polk County this week in order to perform permanent repairs to the road that suffered damage during massive storms in May. No vehicles will be allowed in the work zone due to the dangerous nature of the construction.

A $1.5 million contract has been awarded to Tennoca Const. Co. to perform the repairs which may conclude in November.

“We have to rebuild the road,” Division 14 Construction Engineer Ted Adams said. “The damage was similar to what we saw on U.S. 176 with debris, but with wash-outs in the ditch-line.”

Crews will rebuild the road with new support underneath, they’ll repair or replace drain pipes and culverts, cut new ditches, repave the surface and bring the road up to modern standards.

The closure, which has been in place since May 19, will keep all traffic off Howard Gap Road between Indian Mountain Road and Page Road. The western end Howard Gap Road will remain accessible from Ozone Drive, and the southern side of the repairs are accessible from Lynn Road.

Transportation officials remind motorists to obey all posted signs, follow the instructions of flaggers and slow down in work zones.

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter.



Shared by IRPO– Permanent Repairs Coming to Damaged Road

COLUMBUS — Crews from a contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation have started making permanent repairs to Holbert Cove Road in Polk County that will require a detour for up to a month.

NCDOT crews made temporary repairs after severe storms damaged the road in the spring. On Monday, the department closed the road three miles east of Interstate 26 so a team from GeoStabilization International can reinforce the hillside below.

The work may take three to four weeks to complete before the road can be reopened.

In the meantime, a 25-mile detour directs drivers to Silver Creek Road, N.C. 9, N.C. 108 and I-26 at Exit 59.

Shared by IRPO–A Review of a few Bicycle Laws in North Carolina

  • Bikes are vehicles (though not motor vehicles) 
  • Cyclists have to follow the same traffic laws that motorists do
  • Motorists are allowed to pass cyclists
    • Since October 1, 2016, State law allows cars to pass cyclists, even if there’s a double yellow line. If a car is trying to pass a cyclist, they must give them at least 4 feet of space on the side.
  • Cyclists must use hand signals to let motorists know they are turning or stopping.
    • Cyclists will use their left hand to signal a left-hand turn and their right hand for a right-hand turn. They can also put a hand behind their back to let drivers know they are stopping.
  • Cyclists are to have lights on their bike at night
    • Lights are required on the front and back of the bike, along with reflectors. Lights can also be used during the day, but it is not mandatory.
  • Drivers can be fined if they cause a cyclist to crash or force them to change lanes
    • A driver who causes a cyclist to change travel lanes or leave that portion of a travel lane will be fined $200. If the motorist causes a cyclist to crash causing property damage or personal injury there will be a fine of $500 and if there is more than $5,000 in property damage or serious injury, the driver will be fined $750.
    • See here for more information:

Photo source:

Shared by IRPO–Crews Repair I-26 Storm Damage

Occasional lane closures needed

MILLS RIVER – A massive storm closed both directions of Interstate 26 in Polk County on the night of May 18.

The basic cleanup from that storm is complete on I-26, and the next phase of repairs recently started. Those repairs will require occasional lane closures from mile markers 60-63 through July to restore the road and drainage.

Crews from Graham County Land Company will improve drainage beside the interstate by creating larger ditches and drainage channels. They will also repair the shoulder, install new guardrail, repave short sections of roadway and make additional improvements as needed.

Most lane closures will be limited to off-peak hours. However, some daytime closures will be necessary for large equipment to maneuver into position or work on the interstate roadway.

Transportation officials urge drivers to plan for delays in this area, obey all posted signs and drive slow through this active work zone.

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter.


Shared by IRPO–Voice Your Thoughts on Greater Asheville Project Priority

Public comments sought on potential transportation projects

ASHEVILLE – North Carolinians are invited to a public meeting June 14 to express their opinions about which regional and local transportation projects in the 7-county Division 13 area should be top priorities in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) – a 10-year plan that identifies funding for projects and schedules them for construction.The N.C. Department of Transportation combines data and local input to determine which projects will get built, using criteria established in the Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law to focus funding on projects that help reduce congestion, improve safety and promote economic growth.

NCDOT Division 13 (Buncombe, Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford and Yancey counties) will hold an informal public meeting from 5-7 p.m., on Thursday, June 14, at Lake Tomahawk Park, Lakeview Clubhouse, 401 Laurel Circle Drive, Black Mountain, N.C., 28711.

Citizens are invited to stop in and provide input a preliminary list of regional projects supported by the division to be considered for funding. Please note that these meetings are not for maintenance projects, such as patching potholes, resurfacing roads or improving ditches.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for anyone with disabilities who wants to participate in the public meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Lauren Putnam, Public Involvement Officer, at 919-707-6072 or by email at as early as possible, so that these arrangements can be made.

Other Ways to Participate

During a public comment period that runs from June 4 through July 9, NCDOT is collecting feedback from citizens who express their views at public meetings across the state, online, by phone or in writing.

Starting June 4, citizens can provide input through the STI website (  Citizens can complete a short, interactive survey to identify priority projects, or send a message to their local division planning engineer.

The online survey features an interactive state map with the proposed projects up for funding.  Citizens can review project information and provide feedback on which projects they think are important.

The STI website provides the phone numbers and postal addresses of local division planning engineers, for citizens who want to comment on transportation projects by telephone or mail.

In Division 13, contact Brendan Merithew, PE, at, (828) 251-6171 or by mail at: 55 Orange Street, Asheville N.C., 28801.

In April, NCDOT released data scores for more than 2,100 transportation improvement projects across the state, in the first round of an evaluation process to determine which projects will be scheduled for construction.  Also in April, NCDOT identified 77 high-scoring Statewide Mobility projects that will be programmed for funding over the next decade.

Next Steps

After the comment period ends on July 9, NCDOT will combine the data scores and local input to produce the total project scores. A draft list of the top-scoring Regional Impact projects is scheduled for release in August. A similar process for local input will take place in the fall for local Division Needs projects.

Once all project scores are finalized, the top projects will be programmed for construction based on available funding. Other factors may determine whether a project ultimately moves to construction, including the completion of environmental and engineering plans, corridor spending limits prescribed by law, and other federal and state funding restrictions.

This information will be used to create the next STIP for the years 2020-2029. NCDOT will release a draft STIP for public comment in January 2019. The final 2020-2029 STIP is expected to be adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2019.

The STI law, enacted in 2013, established a data-driven process that allows NCDOT to invest transportation dollars more efficiently and effectively.  NCDOT updates the STIP approximately every two years to ensure that it accurately reflects the state’s current financial situation.