Shared by IRPO–No Horsing Around with New Interchange

Interstate construction starting this month


ASHEVILLE – The N.C. Department of Transportation is saddling up for serious construction.The heavy lifting to build a new interchange at Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 in Polk County begins this month with the goal of providing a safer and smoother driving experience for all motorists, including visitors and participants of the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

“This is an important project to the area, one that has been needed for many years,” Acting Division 14 Engineer Brian Burch said. “We’re happy to get this project started and we’ll be working on an accelerated schedule to complete it prior to the World Games.”

The first phase of construction is to clear the project area in preparation of moving dirt and rocks and building embankments for the new roadway.  A creek channel change and 353-foot long concrete box culvert will be constructed during the early stages.

The new interchange, at a cost of $19 million, will separate through traffic from local traffic and be completed by Aug. 17, 2018, in time for visitors from across the globe to enjoy an event that is comparable to the Olympics.

Vecellio & Grogan, Inc DBA Sharpe Brothers, based in Beckley, W.V., will be creating a direct merge lane from U.S. 74 West to I-26 East, which will eliminate the need for drivers to navigate two roundabouts. It will also build a new ramp from I-26 West to U.S. 74 and it will include two bridges and eight retaining walls.

Multiple operations will be performed at the same time in order to finish the job ahead of the completion date.  There will be times in which work will be performed around the clock utilizing multiple crews.

Lane closures and lane shifts will be in place at various times during construction on both I-26 and U.S. 74. Drivers need to adjust their travel times, be aware in this work zone and obey all posted signs and flagging instructions.

“We are pleased to be improving area transportation in time for the World Games,” Burch said, “It’s also an improvement that will have a lasting positive impact on residents and visitors for many years to come.”

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Shared by IRPO–All Invited to Open House for Exit 81 on I-40

Opinions sought for interchange improvements 

ASHEVILLE – The N.C. Department of Transportation invites citizens, business owners and interested parties to a public meeting on Monday, Oct. 30 regarding proposed improvements to the interchange at Sugar Hill Road and Interstate 40.

The improvements are intended to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow at the Exit 81 interchange in McDowell County. The proposed project includes replacing the bridge over I-40, improving ramps to and from the freeway, and providing three lanes with curb and gutter on Sugar Hill Road between the ramps. Project information and materials, including a preliminary design map, is available online at
The meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the Community Building at 191 North Main Street in Marion. Interested parties may attend at any time to meet with transportation officials who will answer questions and gather comments. All written comments and questions — a key component of the planning — need to be submitted by Nov. 13.

For additional information, contact Project Manager Greg Purvis, PE, at (919) 851-8077 or, or contact Cole Hood, PE, Division Project Development Engineer at 55 Orange Street, Asheville, NC  28801 or, or (828) 251-6171.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who want to participate in these meetings. Anyone requiring special services should contact Diane Wilson, at 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1598, or (919) 707-6069 or as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.

Persons who speak Spanish, and have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.