Shared by IRPO–Plan to be Presented to Public in Polk County

Important project to replace old bridge over I-26

SYLVA – The bridge over Interstate 26 is 52-years-old and the roundabouts sandwiching the bridge are out-of-date too.

Improvements are needed on West Mills Street between St. Luke’s Parkway and Walker Street in Columbus in order to bring the existing structures up to date, improve crash rates on this stretch of N.C. 108 and improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities too.

The N.C. Department of Transportation, with support from Polk County and the Town of Columbus, will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, May 22, to present initial design plans of proposed upgrades.

The proposed improvements include replacing the bridge, widening N.C. 108 to three lanes including curb and gutter, and widening the roundabouts to two lanes. The plan would also add sidewalks to both sides and expand the outside lanes to 14 feet to accommodate bicycles.

A project map can be viewed at www.NCDOT.gov/Projects/PublicMeetings.

“This is the second phase of a plan to upgrade the area including I-26, U.S. 74 and N.C. 108,” Division 14 Engineer Brian Burch said. “It’s nice to see the first phase going so well and along our plans to finish this fall.

“Here, the bridge has to be replaced and the hybrid roundabouts tie directly to the bridge. Widening will help traffic operations now and into the future, while the bicycle and pedestrian facilities will help those who walk and bike.”

The public drop-in meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the Isothermal Community College Polk Center Auditorium at 1255 West Mills Street in Columbus.

Transportation officials will be available to answer any questions and listen to comments regarding the project. Comments will also be accepted via phone, email or mail until June 22. All comments will be considered as the project develops.

Submit comments to Dave Wilver at I4729B@threeoaksengineering.com or (919) 326-6359. Contact Kenneth (Mac) McDowell, Division 14 Project Engineer at 253 Webster Road, Sylva, NC 28779 or kjmcdowell@ncdot.gov for more information.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate. Anyone requiring special services should contact Caitlyn Ridge, P.E. at ceridge1@ncdot.gov or (919) 707-6091 as early as possible to make arrangements.

***NCDOT***