Public hearing for I-26 widening scheduled

Published 4:49 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Hearing set for Thursday in Arden

A key corridor of Interstate 26 that leads from apples in Henderson County to everything in Asheville will be widened by the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Planning of the project is in progress and it’s time for residents and commuters to express their opinions and comments about proposed improvements on the freeway from Greenville Highway (U.S. 25) to the I40/I-240 interchange.

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Transportation officials will hold a public hearing regarding the proposed widening of I-26 — including reconstruction of the pavement and replacement of at least 11 bridges, including one on the Blue Ridge Parkway over the freeway — in order to meet future travel demands for I-26 from Exit 54 in Henderson County up to Exit 31 in Buncombe County.

The event will be held Thursday, Oct. 13 at the Biltmore Baptist Church (Arden Campus) at 35 Clayton Road in Arden. The program will begin with an open house from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. where transportation officials will display maps, answer questions and receive comments. Written comments may be submitted at the meeting or by Nov. 14, 2016.

A formal presentation starts at 7 p.m. with an explanation of the location and design of three widening possibilities, the state-federal funding relationship and right of way procedures. The presentation and comments will be recorded, included and considered during the selection and design process.

A copy of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and maps displaying the alternatives are available for public review at the following locations:

  • NCDOT Division 13 Office, 55 Orange Street, Asheville.
  • NCDOT Division 14 District 1 Office, 4142 Haywood Road, Mills River.
  • French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, 339 New Leicester Highway, Suite 140, Asheville.
  • National Park Service, 199 Hemphill Knob Road, Asheville.
  • South Buncombe Library, 260 Overlook Road, Asheville.

The document and maps are also available online at and

Draft Environmental Impact State only is available at these locations:

  • Asheville City Hall, 70 Court Plaza.
  • Hendersonville City Hall, 145 5th Avenue East, 2nd floor.
  • Fletcher Town Hall, 300 Old Cane Creek Road.
  • Buncombe County Planning, 46 Valley Street, Asheville.
  • Henderson County Planning, 100 North King Street, Hendersonville.

For additional information, contact Anamika Laad at 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, 27699-1598, by email at, by phone at (919) 707-6072, or by fax at (919) 212-5785.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this hearing. Anyone requiring special services should contact Laad as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.

Persons who speak Spanish and do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the hearing by calling 1-800-481-6494.

– Submitted by David Uchiyama/NCDOT