Interstate 26 Connector project videos

The Interstate 26 Connector project will create a new highway crossing over the French Broad River and will also include widening Interstate 240 in West Asheville and changing the configuration of the I-26/I-40/I-240 interchange, known as “Malfunction Junction.” The project has been in discussion for nearly two decades. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, […]

Meet the neighbors

Attendance was strong at the N.C. Department of Transportation’s daylong Interstate 26 open house on Sept. 16, and nobody could fault the agency for lack of information. The maps wallpapering the Renaissance Hotel’s ballroom were extensive, and the computer-generated flyover videos were nifty and informative. (To view the video, go to The whole thing […]

Asheville City Council

Asheville water supply still OK City offices may move to Innsbruck Mall Despite earlier reports that an alternative bridge design produced by a local volunteer group was on track for consideration by the N.C. Department of Transportation, it’s actually still a step or two behind the other options, a DOT engineer told Asheville City Council […]

A bridge too far?

After many months of wrangling, alternative 4b—the locally produced design for the bridge planned as part of the Interstate 26 connector—is in the running for final adoption by the N.C. Department of Transportation, several sources say. But in its current form, the plan only faintly resembles the one originally submitted by the Asheville Design Center, […]

Asheville City Council

Despite numerous alleged incidents of serious police misconduct over the past couple of years, Asheville City Council members voted Jan. 15 against creating an official citizen-oversight board. Conceding that it is a “bit of a complex topic,” police Chief William Hogan nonetheless lobbied against the idea, citing several existing layers of police oversight and reiterating […]

Asheville’­s bridges to the future?

Self-described “presentation monkey” and city planner Joe Minicozzi offered members of the public a glimpse of the Asheville Design Center’s latest ideas for an I-26/I-240 bridge during an informal seminar July 9. Two dozen people attended the first showing of Minicozzi’s latest presentation, held at Pack Memorial Library’s Lord Auditorium, on how other cities have […]

Asheville City Council

Despite a less-than-encouraging response by the state Department of Transportation, Asheville is continuing to explore a locally developed plan for the I-26 connector. The big idea: This map, prepared by city staff, illustrates just how large an incorporated Leicester would be. Representatives from the DOT, the Federal Highway Administration and several engineering consulting firms weighed […]

Six lanes or eight

In response to a request from the Asheville City Council last month, the state Department of Transportation has agreed to conduct one more traffic study — beginning immediately — to estimate future traffic volume along the I-26 Connector. “We are in the process of working on that,” confirmed DOT Traffic Engineer Kevin Lacy. Calibration of […]

Eight too many? Six too few?

A pair of upcoming meetings may spark a flare-up in the long-simmering controversy over the planned restructuring of Interstate 240, Interstate 26 and the Smokey Park Bridge. Few local civic issues have aroused more heated debate. Area residents have banded together in support of one or another of several proposals; local politicians have staked out […]

I-26 by the numbers

The new leg of Interstate 26 through Madison County is the fruit of a massive undertaking. Consider these statistics: Length: nine miles Number of lanes: six Original cost estimate (1988): $50-$60 million* Final cost: $230 million Percent paid by the federal government: 80* Cost of welcome center/rest area $6.1 million Construction time: seven years Tons […]