Rutherfordton bypass project accelerated by 3 years

N.C. Department of Transportation news release


RALEIGH — State transportation officials announced nine new transportation projects Wednesday in Division 13, which covers seven counties including Rutherford and McDowell Counties. The new projects for Division 13 (Buncombe, Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford, and Yancey counties) are in the updated version of the state’s draft 10-Year transportation plan.

One of the new projects for Division 13 is the widening of U.S. 221 South in McDowell County from Interstate 40 to Goose Creek Road.
 Accelerated projects include:

• Constructing the last segment of the Rutherfordton bypass by three years
• Constructing the I-40/Blue Ridge Road interchange in Buncombe County by two years.

The construction of a paved multi-use trail along the rail line in Rutherford County between Oakland Road and Forrest Hunt Drive is a new multi-modal project.

“It’s a great benefit to our residents that we get these projects on the ground to improve safety, as well as increase the economic potential of our area,” Division 13 Engineer Jay Swain said. “We are keeping our economy — our people, products and services — moving.”

The plan, called the Draft 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), includes a total of 144 new projects and hundreds of projects with accelerated construction schedules.




The adjustments reflect updated financial information, including projected revenues, and lower inflation and construction cost overruns.

The plan was initially scheduled to be approved by the Board of Transportation at its June meeting, but approval was delayed to allow the department to update the document to reflect the changes. NCDOT will now hold a public comment period on the updated version of the document.

The public comment period will run from June 28 to July 12. Anyone who would like to provide comments should contact Diane Wilson at pdwilson1@ncdot.gov or (919) 707-6073. The final 2018-2027 STIP is expected to be approved by the DOT Board in August.

More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available online at ncdot.gov/strategictransportationinvestments/.