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Project Map

Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Archive
  • County: Jackson
  • Type of Project: New Roadway
  • STIP Number: R-4745
  • Estimated Cost: $132 m
  • Property Acquisition Start: Fiscal Year 2021
N.C. 107 Connector Logo

NOTE: Based on the results of NCDOT’s funding formula, this project was not funded in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Plan, and studies have concluded for the time being. If the project is funded at a later date, updates will be posted to this page.

Description

The N.C. 107 Connector is a proposed 5-mile route from N.C. 107 to U.S. 23/74, east of Sylva in Jackson County. The N.C. 107 Connector is not currently funded in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Plan

News and Updates

In 2010, by executive order, the governor established that funding for all transportation projects would be based on data-driven scoring and local input.

Current ranking formulas analyze existing and future conditions, benefits a project is expected to provide, a project’s multi-modal characteristics and how a project fits in with local priorities.

Based on the results of the 2014 ranking cycle, the proposed N.C. 107 Connector is not funded at this time, and studies are concluded for the time being.

NCDOT, however, is focusing on two new projects along N.C. 107, which are funded in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Plan: N.C. 107 from N.C. 116 to U.S. 23 Business (R-5600) and N.C. 107/U.S. 23 Business from Cope Creek Road to Council Circle (R 5715).

Why is this project needed?

N.C. 107 is the major north-south transportation corridor in Jackson County and several municipalities. It is part of a 70-mile Strategic Highway Corridor between Anderson, S.C, and Knoxville, Tenn., and is an important route for regional mobility. There are no major parallel routes within 4 miles of N.C. 107 that could serve as an alternative for through-traffic. During current peak hours, portions of N.C. 107 between U.S. 23 Business and N.C. 116 in the Sylva area have reached their capacity.

N.C. 107 is a link in NCDOT’s 2004 Strategic Highway Corridors Vision Plan. The vision plan proposes a network of high-speed, safe, reliable highways throughout the state. These corridors are important for mobility, connectivity to activity centers and interstates, interstate relief, evacuation and the national or statewide highway system.

Next Steps

If funding becomes available for the project, NCDOT will reinitiate project planning and design efforts, including public involvement activities. NCDOT will notify area residents and other stakeholders when studies are resumed and updates will be posted to this page.

Project History

1980s: Transportation-related issues along N.C. 107 are first recognized. At the time, crash rates were among the highest in the state.

1990s: NCDOT reconfigures N.C. 107 from four lanes to five lanes. Traffic conditions continue to worsen as a result of increased residential and commercial development. Local officials ask NCDOT to study ways to fix N.C. 107.

1994: The “Southern Loop,” a new road from U.S. 23/441, south of Dillsboro, to U.S. 23/74, east of Sylva, is added to the Sylva/Dillsboro Thoroughfare Plan.

2003: Local officials ask NCDOT to prepare feasibility study FS-0114C. It recommends a multi-lane road on new alignment connecting U.S. 23/441, south of Dillsboro, to U.S. 23/74, east of Sylva. The Southern Loop is added to NCDOT’s State Transportation Improvement Program as R-4745.

2008: NCDOT removes the western half of the Southern Loop (U.S. 23/441 to NC 107) from the State Transportation Improvement Plan and renames the project the N.C. 107 Connector. NCDOT holds a citizens informational workshop at Western Carolina University on Dec. 4, 2008. About 130 people attend the workshop. Participants voice their opinions about congestion on N.C. 107, upgrades needed on existing roads, the need for a new route and potential negative effects of a new route on businesses, the community and the environment.

2009: Project team members receive comments during a public workshop for the Jackson County Comprehensive Transportation Plan on Oct. 13, 2009.

2010: The Jackson County Comprehensive Transportation Plan recommends projects to improve traffic conditions along N.C. 107 and U.S. 23 Business, including the N.C. 107 Connector. Project team members receive comments during a public workshop for Feasibility Study FS-0814A on Nov. 9, 2010. The feasibility study concludes substantial upgrades are needed to improve N.C. 107 traffic flow.

2011: In its Priority Needs List, the Southwestern Rural Planning Organization ranks the N.C. 107 Connector as 28th out of 45 projects within the region and seventh out of 15 projects within Jackson County. The Federal Highway Administration issues a revised Notice of Intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the N.C. 107 Connector.

2012: The N.C. 107 Connector receives high scores in NCDOT’s P2.0 as a statewide project for improving mobility. A new project, R-5600, is included in the Draft 2013-2023 State Transportation Improvement Plan to upgrade existing N.C. 107 from N.C. 116 to U.S. 23 Business. The right-of-way schedule date is FY 2021 for R-5600 and R-4745. Construction is currently unfunded for both projects and is expected to occur after 2023.

2013: In response to a community-based N.C. 107 Corridor Study completed in December 2012 and supporting resolutions from the Town of Sylva and Jackson County, NCDOT began studying how to improve existing N.C. 107 in a way that minimizes impacts to surrounding businesses and better fits the context and vision of the local area. NCDOT has determined that it will be feasible to design the project with a reduced footprint while still improving the flow of traffic along N.C. 107.

NCDOT engineers and consultants are currently examining how implementing improvements to N.C. 107 would impact the area while being constructed. This will include an assessment of how to reduce the amount of lane shifts and lane closures, and manage access to businesses in the corridor and expedite construction. The N.C. 107 Corridor Study, developed by the Southwestern RPO, can be viewed at this location:

The N.C. 107 Corridor Study developed by the Southwestern RPO can be viewed at this location:

2014: Work on the N.C. 107 Connector is suspended. After evaluating how well the N.C. 107 improvements (R-5600) will address congestion and improve mobility, the department will decide whether there is a need for further study of the N.C. 107 Connector. Studies and mapping for making improvements to the existing N.C. 107 corridor are being conducted. Due to the way project funding is established, and because both projects (project R-5600 and project R-4745) have overlapping project areas, these studies are being funded under a single project – the R-4745 project.

2015: NCDOT completes a traffic management study to examine ways to construct upgrades without substantial negative effects to the community, business district, and regional travel. The study evaluates a conceptual design and recommends strategies for managing work zone traffic, minimizing delays and reducing the effects on properties and utilities.

Based on the results of the 2014 ranking cycle, the proposed N.C. 107 Connector is not funded at this time, and studies are concluded for the time being.

NCDOT, however, is focusing on two new projects along N.C. 107, which are funded in the 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Plan: N.C. 107 from N.C. 116 to U.S. 23 Business (R-5600) and N.C. 107/U.S. 23 Business from Cope Creek Road to Council Circle (R 5715). Both are scheduled for project development to begin in 2015, right-of-way to begin in 2019 and construction to begin in 2021.

Updated Links

Project Photos

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Contact Information

  • Zahid Baloch, P.E.
    Project Planning Engineer

    Email: Contact Us
    Phone: (919) 707-6012
    Address:
    1548 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC 27699-1548
  • E.A. (Ed) Green, P.E.
    Division 14 Engineer

    Email: Contact Us
    Phone:(828) 586-2141
    Address:
    253 Webster Road
    Sylva, NC 28779

Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.