NICE AND SALTY: When snow and ice make the going treacherous on local roads, the city of Asheville deploys public works crews around the clock to spread sand and salt as well as to plow snow. Photo courtesy of the city of Asheville

Despite environmen­tal concerns, salt still most effective de-icer

To keep cars from slipping and sliding — and crashing and smashing — when weather conditions turn roads icy, the city of Asheville and the N.C. Department of Transportation treat local motorways with salt. While the substance can impact water quality and the health of wildlife, officials say they mostly succeed in balancing environmental and traffic safety concerns.

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: While community members largely spoke out in favor of Alternative 4B for Section B of the I-26 Connector Project, several aspects of NCDOT’s design, such as the three bridges that would span the French Broad River near Montford (above), have a coalition of Montford neighbors and others questioning the scale and scope of the design. Image via NCDOT; courtesy of DWAC

Despite progress, concerns about the I-26 Connector persist

When the DOT finally decided on a design for Section B of the Connector project in 2015, many stakeholders thought they saw light at the end of a very long tunnel. Other residents, however, see serious flaws in Alternative 4B, questioning whether the project’s long-term benefits will justify the sacrifices their neighborhoods must make to see it completed.

Each of the Section B alternatives show different visions of crossing the French Broad River. To view a full size of this image,  click here.

Crunch time for I-26 connector: DOT seeks public input as key decision nears

After more than two decades, the NCDOT is getting the ball rolling on the I-26 connector project. And though actual construction is still years away, the next few weeks are the public’s best chance to influence the route of a massive infrastructure project that, regardless of which option is chosen, will cost hundreds of millions of dollars, displace dozens of homes and businesses, and change the face of Asheville.