HENDERSONVILLE – An important scheduled date on the Interstate 26 widening project is upon us.
A bridge in Henderson County carrying traffic over I-26 will close on Monday, March 15, for 180 days, and sections of the interstate will be closed for four nights starting on Tuesday.
The project requires closing Butler Bridge Road to remove the existing bridge and build a new structure in the exact same location. Transportation officials have established a detour using U.S 25, Rugby Drive and North Rugby Road.
To accelerate the removal of the bridge, transportation officials will detour one direction of traffic off I-26 to an Integrated Corridor Management (ICM) system on Tuesday night through Friday night. This system provides longer green lights and uses the ICM route that transportation officials utilized in 2020, when it proved effective in handling night traffic during overnight operations in Buncombe and Henderson counties.
Crews working on the Buncombe County side of the project will take advantage of this opportunity and piggy-back on the closures to replace several concrete slabs in the existing eastbound interstate lanes and in select locations in the westbound direction.
The ICM detours are as follows:
• Eastbound: Take Exit 37 and go east on Long Shoals Road (N.C. 146) and turn right on Hendersonville Road (U.S. 25) through Fletcher and join I-26 at Exit 44.
• Westbound: Take Exit 44 and go north on Hendersonville Road (U.S. 25) turn left on Long Shoals Road (N.C. 146) and join I-26 at Exit 37.
The following schedule for the week of March 15 is subject to change and weather conditions. Closures will occur from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Monday through Thursday night, with the closure starting at 9 p.m. on Friday night.
• Monday: I-26 lane closures only in both directions
• Tuesday and Wednesday: I-26 East will be closed from Exit 37 to Exit 44
• Thursday and Friday: I-26 West will be closed from Exit 44 to Exit 37
Transportation officials urge drivers to plan additional time into their nightly travels to account for the ICM route and over the next 180 days using the Butler Bridge Road detour.
Editor’s Note: A previous news release from Feb. 25 provides additional information. The nightly closures have been updated in this release.