Widening 108 will create what many came to the Foothills to escape

Published 8:00 am Saturday, May 19, 2018

My husband and I are deeply distressed by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s proposed widening of Highway 108 between Columbus and Tryon.

We moved here to finally get away from urban living and all the ways it complicates our lives. We did not come to a community of 1,600 people in order to have bureaucracy come in, spend the tax money we have paid in order to once again complicate our lives by “making everything more accessible.”

We now live in Tryon, attend church in Saluda, go to the beauty parlor/massage spa in Flat Rock, shop the Co-op and Fresh Market in Hendersonville, take the dog to be groomed in Columbus and attend farmer’s markets in most all of these — all without getting on Interstate 26, if possible.

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For the government to come in with all these statistics, telling us why we should want $19 million of our tax money to be spent on “making things better around here” is ludicrous.

We have a turn lane between Hazelhurst, St Luke’s Hospital and the college on Highway 108.  We surely do not need 12 turn lanes within a 3-mile strip of rural road.

There has never been a need to widen the bridge across the Pacolet River!

If the NCDOT does decide to take this project on, there will be no town of Tryon to go to by the time it is completed.

Besides that fact, the majority of citizens will sadly miss the beauty of the country road, the trees, the fun/convenience of having Benson’s Produce available to all of us and the tourist who come through to be out of the cities and off the interstates. You will put thriving businesses along 108 out of business, such as Open Road coffee, which is as much a meeting place as a coffee house.

Please take that $19 million and put it somewhere that truly needs it.

We are very happy to be right here with the roads the size they are. Let’s take care of what we have before launching into projects that will totally disrupt life between two lovely communities, and are not wanted or needed in the first place.

Judy Hunt, Tryon