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Final Environmental Impact Statement Signed for I-26 Connector


Updated on March 20, 2020
N.C. Department of Transportation officials are extending the Final Environmental Impact Statement comment period by 14 days, to April 17, due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. The FEIS is available online, and a hard copy is available for review by appointment at the Division 13 office. Contact Division 13 Project Team Lead Brendan Merithew at 828-250-3024 or to schedule an appointment. 

ASHEVILLE – The N.C. Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed I-26 Asheville Connector in Buncombe County.
The FEIS confirms the Preferred Alternative for all three sections of the project from the I-40/I-26/I-240 interchange to Future I-26 near Broadway Street.

Final federal approval of the project (I-2513) is anticipated this summer when the FHWA issues its Record of Decision. Right of way acquisition for parts of the project may begin this year, and transportation officials anticipate starting phased construction in the next few years. 

“The release of the FEIS is a major milestone for this project, which will reduce traffic congestion, increase commerce in the region, provide an improved gateway into Asheville, and include bicycle and pedestrian facilities,” NCDOT Division 13 Engineer Mark Gibbs said. “Our local partners have helped us reach this critical step which brings the project closer to becoming a reality.”

NCDOT has also finalized the I-26 Connector Traffic Noise Report. It documents the project’s preliminary traffic noise analysis and can be found on the project website. Areas where noise abatement is preliminarily feasible have been added to the public hearing maps​. A more detailed analysis will be completed during project final design.

The FEIS, submitted pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act, addresses comments received on the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The public now has the opportunity to review and comment on the contents of this document. 

Comments must be received within 60 days in order to be included as part of the public record for the Final EIS comment period. Comments may be sent to Senior Project Manager Kevin Moore, PE, at or at 1582 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1582.

The FEIS and supporting documents are available on the project website. A printed copy may be viewed by appointment at the NCDOT Division 13 Office, 55 Orange Street in Asheville. Additional copies are available at the following locations: 

  • State Library of North Carolina, 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • ​Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801
  • West Asheville Library, 942 Haywood Road, Asheville, NC 28806
  • Buncombe County Law Library,  60 Court Plaza , Asheville, NC 28801
  • D. Hiden Ramsey Library, University of North Carolina Asheville, One University Heights, CPO #1500, Asheville, NC 28804
  • French Broad River MPO, 339 New Leicester Highway, Suite 140, Asheville, NC 28806


3/20/2020 10:38 AM