Tryon invites residents to comment on Hwy. 108 widening next week

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2017

TRYON – Residents are invited to a Tryon Town Council meeting next Tuesday, Feb. 21 to offer comments on the state’s plan to widen Hwy. 108 between Columbus and Tryon.

The town’s work session is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. in the meeting room at town hall. The town’s regular meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The Bulletin plans to live stream the meetings via Facebook.

The work session is designed to discuss the Hwy. 108 widening as well as other items if needed. There will also be public comments during the regular meeting where the public can voice their opinions.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Tryon Town Council decided last month to invite the public to give comments after the state released its draft 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) that includes a four-lane highway along Hwy. 108 between the roundabout in Columbus to the first traffic light coming into Tryon at the Hwy. 108/U.S. 176 intersection.

The STIP estimates the cost of the widening to be $47,300,000 along approximately 3.5 miles of Hwy. 108.

Last month, Tryon Town Manager Zach Ollis and community development director Paula Kempton told council of an oversight meeting they had with the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) in January. The state told the town the intent was for four lanes with a median, curb and guttering and sidewalks.

The project is estimated to begin around 2021 with construction expected between 2025-2030.

Kempton said the local rural planning organization, of which she is a member, voted that widening was needed but the local intent was for bike paths and sidewalks, not for four lanes.

The DOT says it plans public hearings in the spring regarding the draft STIP, which is not yet approved by the state.

The Town of Tryon also plans more meetings throughout the year for public comments.