New rest areas coming to I-26

Published 1:21 pm Wednesday, February 26, 2020

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Some components of the Interstate 26 widening project are happening earlier than anticipated.

The N.C. Department of Transportation will close the eastbound and westbound rest areas on I-26 near the Buncombe and Henderson county line at noon on Friday as part of the project.

The project will improve I-26 from four lanes to eight lanes between Brevard Road in Asheville and U.S. 25 Business in Fletcher, and from four lanes to six lanes from U.S. 25 Business to U.S. 64 in Hendersonville. The $534 million project will reduce congestion and improve the roadway and structures before completion in late 2024.

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A transformation of the rest areas will begin immediately. Improvements will include additional room for parking and brand new buildings with modern technology that will open before the project is completed. 

“The new facilities will be an important part of the project and will provide modern conveniences for local as well as long-distance travelers,” NCDOT Resident Engineer Mike Patton said. “We know that closing the rest areas will inconvenience drivers in the Asheville area, especially truck drivers, but we’re certain that everyone will be delighted with the brand new facilities.”

NCDOT crews will clear out the existing facilities this weekend and prepare the properties for demolition, scheduled for April. Following demolition, the properties will transform into staging areas for construction equipment. Construction on the new facilities will begin after the sites are prepared by grading and installing new utilities.

Parking will be expanded to 100 passenger vehicle spaces and more than 30 truck spaces at each rest area. The new buildings will expand to more than 5,200 square feet. They will feature more natural light, LED lighting, low-flow water utilities, modern vending machines, a new floor plan and a memorial to NCDOT employees killed on duty. 

Outside amenities will include a larger picnic area, a dog-walking area, and landscaping with native plants, flowers, and shrubs including 450 new trees.

For real-time travel information, visit or follow NCDOT on social media.

Submitted by NCDOT