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DOT schedules Highway 108 improvement meeting

TRYON — Polk County residents will have the opportunity soon to let the North Carolina Department of Transportation know how they feel in regards to improvements being made along Highway 108 between Columbus and Tryon.

The NCDOT has scheduled a public meeting from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24 at the Tryon Depot Plaza, located at 22 Depot St., Tryon.

“The purpose of this project is to increase safety and alleviate congestion by adding turn lanes at select locations and to improve bicycle accommodations,” stated the NCDOT. “The purpose of the public meeting is to present and gather input on the proposed preliminary design.”

NCDOT first released plans for the project in January 2017 in its State Transportation Improvement Program plan. Initial plans were to create a four-lane highway between Columbus and Tryon, with the project estimated at $47,300,000.

Following the release of the state’s plans last year, the Town of Tryon held a public meeting, where many residents opposed the plan for four lanes. NCDOT changed the plans to not include four lanes.

Brian Burch, P.E. NCDOT Division Project Development Engineer to the Bulletin last year that the state met with county and town officials about the original plan and said the four-lane proposal was not what local officials wanted.  “It was very clear when we met with the county manager and town managers that a four-lane facility would not be well received,” Burch said.

Residents may attend the meeting at any time between 4 and 7 p.m. NCDOT officials will be available to answer questions and listen to comments on the project. Residents can also submit comments through phone, email and mail before May 8.

“Comments received will be taken into consideration as the project develops,” NCDOT said in a press release.

Area residents near the proposed project were also mailed a notice regarding the meeting last week.

More information can be found at ncdot.gov/projects/publicmeetings.

Additional information is available through Jonathan Woodard, P.E., NCDOT Division  14, Project Engineer at 253 Webster Rd., Sylva or 828-631-5481 or jwoodard@ncdot.gov.