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NCDOT, Regional Partners Meet to Discuss Next Steps for Corridor K Project in Graham County

RALEIGH - Leadership from the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration met today in Cherokee with elected officials from a seven-county region in Western North Carolina to discuss an upcoming initiative related to the Corridor K project in Graham County, which will involve determining a vision for future growth in the region.  

Working with the Southwestern Commission (the local rural planning organization), regional officials and community groups will help develop a process to create comprehensive plans that outline the region's future goals in areas such as transportation infrastructure, economic development and environmental protection; as well as how the Corridor K project can support these goals.

The Federal Highway Administration has determined that this regional analysis of future goals should be completed as a prerequisite to moving forward with analysis of the Corridor K project. This comprehensive planning and outreach effort is based upon recommendations contained in a report released last April by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.

This impartial third party was brought in by the project team to resolve key issues and concerns expressed by project stakeholders. The full text of the report is available on the project website.

NCDOT State Highway Administrator Terry Gibson, Director of Preconstruction Deborah Barbour, Transportation Division 14 Engineer Joel Setzer and FHWA Division Administrator John Sullivan were among those who met with representatives from Clay, Haywood, Swain, Graham, Cherokee, Jackson and Macon counties.

About Corridor K

The Corridor K project, also known as the U.S. 74 Relocation Project or A-9, involves the proposed relocation of U.S. 74 from Robbinsville to Stecoah in Graham County. Currently, U.S. 74 travels through the Nantahala Gorge in Macon and Swain counties.

NCDOT is studying the B and C portions of the project, which include constructing a four-lane, divided highway from U.S. 129 in Robbinsville to N.C. 28 in Stecoah at an approximate cost of $383 million.

The relocation of U.S. 74 would improve highway capacity and provide Graham County with a four-lane connection to Asheville and Interstate 40.

The proposed project is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, which aims to foster economic development in the Appalachian Mountain region.

 

***NCDOT***

2/15/2018 5:26 PM

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