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 […]
On June 11, N.C. Secretary of Transportation Lyndo Tippett visited the Asheville Design Center to hear a presentation of ADC’s alternative plan for the I-26 Connector.
Buncombe commissioners will almost certainly approve county-wide zoning at their meeting this Tuesday, May 1.
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 […]
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 […]
The story of how Tennessee waltzed North Carolina into committing a quarter of a billion dollars to upgrade U.S. Highway 23 in Western North Carolina reveals how piecemeal highway construction and special-interest politics shape transportation priorities.
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 […]
[Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the February 1992 edition of Green Line, the monthly predecessor of Mountain Xpress.] If I-26 is any indication, highway boosters are far more organized than proponents of alternative transportation, who usually react too late. Starting in 1987, I-26 boosters in WNC had a two-year head start on opponents […]
“I think what people are going to ask for is: ‘No eight lanes.’” — Betty Lawrence, member of I-26 Connector Awareness Group. Eight lanes or nothing. That’s the essence of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s recommendations for widening Interstate 240 through West Asheville, as part of the Interstate 26 Connector. But a grassroots community group […]
“I’ve had a big smile on my face since I got my hands on this report,” revealed Mayor Leni Sitnik, beaming like a proud parent, at Council’s Sept. 12 formal session. The smile was the result of reading the much-anticipated Report of the Community Coordinating Committee for the Design of the I-26 Connector through Asheville. […]
The people have spoken. And now that the I-26 Community Design Forum has come and gone, this question remains: What will the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration do with what they’ve heard? An estimated 450 folks filed through the doors of the Renaissance Hotel ballroom during the design forum, bounceing […]
It’s time to put up or shut up. The powers that be are coming to the table on the I-26 Connnector project, for what is likely the last chance for the community to end its hand-wringing over the controversial highway. The much-talked-about design forum is scheduled for July 21-22 at Asheville’s Renaissance Hotel; its aim […]
With the Interstate-26 Connector design forum looming on the near horizon, Asheville City Council took a last opportunity to thank those agencies that plan to participate, and to urge the N.C. Department of Transportation to consider all the possibilities emerging from the forum. At their July 11 meeting — a short and sweet one, with […]
It’s not too late to speak your mind about the I-26 Connector project, which is slated for completion by the year 2008. An educational forum on the project will be held on Thursday, June 15, 6:30-9:30 p.m. in UNCA’s Lipinsky Auditorium. Former Asheville Mayor Lou Bissette announced the forum on June 1, explaining, “There are […]
Speedway foes and advocates alike were spilling out of the full-to-bursting chambers at the Asheville City Council’s last formal meeting of the millennium. But, faced with passionate public comments about the proposal, City Council decided not to rule, just yet, on a request that could lead to a new speedway complex being built on city-owned […]
Reorganizing the Grove Arcade’s financial structure — necessary to take advantage of new tax laws — touched off a lengthy battle during the Asheville City Council’s Dec. 14 work session. Aaron Zaretsky, executive director of the Grove Arcade Public Market Foundation, told City Council that the foundation is in final negotiations with a corporation that […]
The Transportation Advisory Committee voted unanimously to keep the I-26 connector project on schedule, but also asked the N.C. Department of Transportation to accept public comments while designing the highway. More than 50 people gathered at the TAC hearing, which is held every other year to help DOT prioritize its statewide road-improvement plans. Many in […]