NC DOT plans work on Hwy. 9 from Hwy. 108 to U.S. 74

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2017

MILL SPRING – Mill Spring residents could see major improvements to Hwy. 9 next year, between Hwy. 108 and the U.S. 74 intersection, according to Polk County Manager Marche Pittman.


Pittman told commissioners during his manager’s report at the county’s Sept. 5 meeting that he recently attended a meeting about the project.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently gathering data, which is to begin this month, with public meetings to be held on the project in the spring or summer of 2018.


Pittman said plans are to revamp the road and expand it, but said it will remain a two-lane road. There could be some turning lanes at Polk Central Elementary School because of heavy traffic during the day when students are being dropped off and picked up.


Pittman said it appears that the state is going to expand the lanes from 10 feet to 12 feet but have not presented any additional lanes. He also said the state plans to improve shoulders on the roads.


The DOT has plans for numerous improvements in the county over the next few years. The next project is to construct a separate ramp for U.S. 74 from I-26 from the Columbus roundabouts. That project is scheduled to be complete by this time next year, prior to the World Equestrian Games coming to the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC).


The DOT also recently completed a roundabout at U.S. 74 and the Pea Ridge exit near TIEC and plans to do other work to roads in the Pea Ridge Road area to improve traffic flow at TIEC.


Other big projects planned for the next few years include improvements to Hwy. 108, both between Columbus and Tryon and from the roundabouts in Columbus to downtown Columbus at Houston Road. The state had at one time planned a four-lane highway between Columbus and Tryon, but those plans have been changed for the road to remain a two-lane road, with potential turning lanes in high traffic areas. The improvements to Hwy. 108 between Columbus and Tryon are not scheduled to begin until after 2020.


The state will have public meetings on each major road project, with plans for a public meeting on the improvements between Columbus and Tryon planned for next spring.