ASHEVILLE – Another round of nightly closures for one direction of Interstate 26 is set to start Sunday in Buncombe County.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to close I-26 East from Brevard Road to Airport Road on Sunday through Wednesday nights.
All traffic will be routed to Hendersonville Road where I-26 through traffic may rejoin I-26 at Exit 44, and local traffic may choose local roads. The operations will begin at 10 p.m. on Sunday, then at 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Each will be complete by 6 a.m. the following morning. No access to I-26 East will be available from either direction of I-40 during the closures.
The specific detour routes are as follows:
• I-40 East to I-26 East traffic will be directed to Exit 50 (U.S. 25, Hendersonville Road) on I-40. The I-26 East onramp from I-40 will be closed.
• I-40 West to I-26 East traffic will be directed to Exit 50 (U.S. 25, Hendersonville Road) on I-40. The I-26 East onramp from I-40 will be closed.
• I-240 West/I-26 East traffic will be directed to Exit 33 (N.C. 191, Brevard Road) on I-26. Traffic will travel North on N.C. 191 to I-40 East then to Exit 50 (U.S. 25, Hendersonville Road) on I-40.
Traffic on Hendersonville Road will be incorporated into the Integrated Corridor Management system, a signal-timing program that provides longer green lights on Hendersonville Road. The system worked well the week of March 15 when it was activated to remove the bridge on Butler Bridge Road over I-26 in Henderson County and to perform concrete patching in Buncombe County. Travel time delays were less than 10 minutes compared to typical overnight travel time on I-26.
“The system had been developed for emergencies, but we have found it to be a valuable tool in helping speed up construction and reduce repeated delays,” said Resident Engineer Luke Middleton, who oversees the Buncombe County portion of the project. “We hope drivers understand the importance of keeping workers safe and take advantage of our unique ICM system to keep traffic flowing as well as possible.”