ASHEVILLE – Three schools, a library and a church, not to mention surrounding homes, are getting a boost in pedestrian access with the addition of approximately 2,000 feet of sidewalk being installed at Overlook Road in South Asheville. The addition of ADA-compliant sidewalks is intended to greatly improve the safety of travelers in the corridor no matter their mode of transportation.
Engineers are currently clearing and removing brush and trees along the east side of Overlook Road between Long Shoals and Springdale Road/Pinchot Drive in anticipation of breaking ground for the sidewalk. The project is expected to be completed by December 31.
Throughout the duration of the project, drivers may experience some traffic pattern changes. Please be aware of traffic alert signs and workers on the site.
City of Asheville Streets and Engineering Manager Greg Shuler says the project is the result of close collaboration between Buncombe County, the NCDOT, the City of Asheville and the surrounding community. Overlook Road is a state-owned road, and Buncombe County granted needed easements on the school and library properties crucial to the sidewalk construction. A public input meeting was held in the fall of 2011.
“We all worked close together to get this going,” Shuler said. “And the end product will make the area much easier to navigate safely.”
“We are grateful for the partnership that has led to this improvement," said Buncombe County School Board Member Amy Churchill. “The schools in the vicinity of Overlook Road welcome the addition of sidewalks on Overlook, which will add to the pedestrian connections Buncombe County Schools has been implementing in the area and encourage a healthier lifestyle in the community.”
The stretch will link sidewalk networks along Long Shoals Road and Pinchot Drive, which received new sidewalks last year, as well as recently installed pathway system installed by BCS connecting Koontz Intermediate School, Estes Elementary School and Valley Springs Middle School. The City of Asheville Public Works and Transportation Departments seek to identify and prioritize sidewalk locations based on need and the ability to provided linkages between existing sidewalk locations.