HENDERSONVILLE – Sections of Interstate 26 in Henderson County will be closed tonight and Friday night as part of the interstate widening project.
Drivers will be detoured to routes where modified traffic signals will handle the additional volume.
Tonight, a contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will close the westbound section from Exit 44 (U.S. 25 Business) to Exit 40 (Airport Road). Drivers will be detoured onto U.S. 25 Business (Hendersonville Road) from which they may take Airport Road or Long Shoals Road to return to I-26, or continue north to reach I-40.
Crews will be paving and moving safety barrier in preparation for the major traffic shift later this week.
On Friday night, the contractor will close I-26 from Exit 49 (U.S. 64) to Exit 40 (Airport Road). Traffic will be detoured to U.S. 64 west, then north on U.S. 25 (Asheville Highway) while crews finish the traffic shift.
Starting Saturday morning, I-26 traffic will be shifted over to the old lanes on I-26 West from the bridge spanning Cane Creek to Airport Road, where the new alignment matches with a new alignment in Buncombe County.
“This is very much like the recent shift in Buncombe County, only on the opposite side,” NCDOT resident Engineer Mike Patton said. “It’s a small milestone in the grand scheme of things. But it allows crews to begin removing old lanes and building new interstate.”
Each closure will begin no earlier than 8 p.m. and the interstate will open by 6 the following morning.
The widening of I-26 from Brevard Road to U.S. 64 is an $800 million project that will provide safe and efficient regional travel. The project also improves permanent structures including bridge and drainage as well as the entire pavement structure.
Transportation officials advise drivers remain alert and to obey all posted traffic signs in work zones.