ASHEVILLE -A road that winds through the Hiwassee Dam community in far western North Carolina will be getting safer.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded a $7.1 million contract to Adams Contracting of Robbinsville for improvements to N.C. 294 in Cherokee County. The highway links Hiwassee Dam and communities along the southern banks of Hiwassee Lake with the town of Murphy.
"This project will widen more than two miles of the road, adding two feet of paved shoulders on each side, and also straighten curves to improve safety," says Brian Burch, NCDOT Division 14 Construction Engineer.
Workers will also install guardrails and build a new culvert across Bearpen Creek.
"This is the third in a series of projects on N.C. 294," adds Burch. "The need was identified by community leaders years ago, and NCDOT is excited to move forward with these much needed improvements."
Construction is expected to start in late July, and scheduled to be complete by the end of January 2018.
This is one of 21 road and bridge projects recently awarded by the Department of Transportation. The contracts were awarded to the lowest qualified bidder, as required by state law. They are worth $229.3 million, which is $9.1 million below NCDOT engineers' estimated cost.