Additional projects accelerated
SYLVA – Transportation officials Wednesday announced that 144 new transportation projects will be included in an updated version of the state’s draft 10-Year transportation plan. In addition, the construction schedules were accelerated for hundreds of other projects.
Division 14, which consists of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties, will see a number of improvements as a result of the update including four new highway projects and 17 accelerated projects.
New projects include:
• Widening Interstate 26 from U.S. 64 to U.S. 25 Business in Henderson County; and
• Widening U.S. 19/129 from the Georgia State line to U.S. 64 in Cherokee County.
Accelerated projects include:
• Widening N.C. 69 from the Georgia State line to U.S. 64 in Clay County by two years; and
• Widening N.C. 107 from U.S. 23 Business to Municipal Drive in Jackson County by one year.
In total, Division 14 is slated to receive one additional bicycle and pedestrian projects as well as three highway projects.
“We’re getting a lot of things on paper and then on the ground in a quicker amount of time,” Division 14 Transportation Board Member Jack Debnam said. “We’re doing so at a time when our region is growing and these projects will further support our mountain communities.”
The adjustments reflect updated financial information, including projected revenues, and lower inflation and construction cost overruns.
The plan, called the Draft 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), was initially scheduled to be approved by the Board of Transportation at its June meeting, but approval was delayed to allow the department to update the document to reflect the changes.
NCDOT will now hold a public comment period on the updated version of the document. The public comment period will run from June 28 to July 12. Anyone who would like to provide comments should contact Diane Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 707-6073.
The final 2018-2027 STIP is expected to be approved by the Board in August.
More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available online at ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments/.