Here’s your video preview of the May 20 edition of the Mountain Xpress. This week’s cover story is a photo essay on the Burton Street neighborhood by Xpress, in collaboration with five passionate volunteer photographers — Anthony Bellemare, Scott Lessing, Hazen Hunter, Michael Mauney and Paul Jackson.
The Interstate 26 Connector project is construction to widen the highway and build a new bridge. It’s been talked about for nearly 20 years, and it has existed mostly as lines on maps and technical jargon. That began to change earlier this year when local officials and politicians began stating their preferences for a specific route.
The route that’s caught the most attention is one that would slice through the Burton Street neighborhood, an African-American neighborhood in West Asheville that’s had more than its share of pain. The neighborhood and other local residents, responded. Construction plans have been redrawn and construction dates pushed back. The Xpress set out to begin putting a human face on those who may be affected. Wednesday’s photo essay in print is the first step in what will be an ongoing project to document neighborhoods impacted by this major highway project. The stories and photos in print will be augmented by photos, videos and a map on www.mountainx.com starting Wednesday.
Photo by Anthony Bellemare
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor