The Interstate 26 Connector project has been in the works for nearly two decades. State Department of Transportation officials say they plan to announce their decision the the preferred route for the highway project in fall 2009.
The connector project will create a new highway crossing the French Broad River, widen Interstate 240 in West Asheville and change the configuration of the I-26/I-40/I-240 interchange, known as “Malfunction Junction.” Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013, and the estimated cost could run anywhere from $500 million to more than $800 million, depending on which route the DOT decides to use.
Burton Street Impacts of Alternative 3
This powerpoint slideshow put together by Asheville Design Center Chair Joe Minicozzi shows impacts of I-26 connector alternative 3, including the demolition of 24 houses in the mostly African-American Burton Street neighborhood. The Asheville Design Center is pushing for alternative 4b, designed by their planners, which does not involve residential displacement.
Click here to download a PDF of the slideshow.
Resolution of support for Alternative 3
In this Chamber of Commerce Resolution, dating from Nov. 25, the chamber lays out the history of plans to build an I-26 connector, before siding with alternative 3, claiming it will minimize impact on areas such as Montford, provide opportunities on the east side of the river and shorten driving time.
Click here to download a PDF of the resolution.
Click here to download a PDF of a report by former Asheville city planner Scott Shuford to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners comparing the various alternatives. Click here to see a letter by Shuford explaining his comparison.
Johnson critique of Shuford report
In this brief critique of former Asheville Planning Director Scott Shuford‘s assessment of the I-26 alternatives, Dr. David Johnson, a professional planner and professor emeritus of planning at the University of Tennessee, asserts that Shuford’s report is “incomplete” and leaves out several key factors. Johnson’s report endorses the community-developed alternative 4b.
Click here to download a PDF of the critique.