DOT ensures Highway 108 project will remain 2 lanes

Published 8:00 am Friday, April 20, 2018

Public meeting takes place Tuesday at Tryon depot

TRYON — North Carolina Department of Transportation officials say the upcoming project to improve Highway 108 between Columbus and Tryon will keep the road two lanes.

An informational drop-in meeting is scheduled between 4 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, at the Tryon Depot Plaza, located at 22 Depot St.

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Originally, the project was to widen the road to four lanes, but after NCDOT officials spoke with town and county managers, and Tryon held a meeting, where over 100 people attended to protest the project, the idea was changed.

NCDOT officials said a partnership resulted in a plan.

“State transportation officials have collaborated with officials from Polk County and the towns of Tryon and Columbus, as well as the Isothermal Rural Planning Organization, to develop a project that would increase safety and reduce congestion on [North Carolina Highway]108 in Polk County,” stated a NCDOT release on the project.

Under the new proposal, Highway 108 will remain two lanes, but the department will increase the width of the travel lanes, and add paved shoulders and turning lanes at some intersections. The improvements will be made between U.S. 176 in Tryon and Hospital Drive in Columbus.

The Polk County Comprehensive Transportation Plan, adopted in 2008, identified a need to improve Highway 108, said David Uchiyama, communications officer for the western Mountains Area of the NCDOT.

The project will be funded in the 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Plan, with rights of way expected to begin in 2020 and construction in 2021.

“A new estimate has not been generated,” Uchiyama said about the estimated costs.

Tuesday’s meeting will be a drop-in, with no formal presentation. NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and listen to comments about the project.

Residents can also submit comments at the meeting, and up until May 8.

“All comments received will be considered as the project develops,” Uchiyama said.

Information and materials are available at

Anyone requiring special services should contact Caitlyn Ridge, environmental analysis unit, at or 919-707-6091 to make arrangements.

People who do not speak English, have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English may receive interpretive services by requesting them prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494.