MILL SPRING – The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold an informational drop-in session regarding an upcoming project to improve safety conditions and access to an elementary school along a stretch of N.C. 9 in Polk County.
Transportation officials will provide an update, answer questions and receive comments during the informal gathering from 5-7 p.m., on Sept. 22, at Polk Elementary School. Folks may drop-in at any time. Detailed maps will be available, but no formal presentation will be made.
Public comments were collected during a formal public meeting on April 23, 2019. NCDOT is conducting this session after funding and COVID-19 delays pushed the project off its original schedule by two years. In that time, the right-of-way plans were completed — with no impacts to any building — and engineers completed more than 75 percent of final construction plans.
The project will add a turn lane to improve access at the school, expand travel lanes to 12-feet wide, and add paved 6-foot shoulders with a rumble-strip separating the travel lane from the shoulder. The project also includes updating more than 10 drainage pipes under the highway in the three-mile stretch.
Right-of-way employees are currently marking property locations along N.C. 9 from N.C. 108 to the south end at U.S. 74 and will begin contacting property owners in the near future. The $11.7 million project is funded and with construction scheduled to start the fall of 2024.
Most traffic impacts will be limited to short lane closures — outside of times when traffic is heaviest — to limit traffic delays. The traffic management plan will be finalized prior to construction.
People may submit comments at the meeting, through the website by mail to Andrew Buchanan, Assistant Proposal Engineer, Division 14, 253 Webster Road, Sylva, NC, 28779 or by calling 512-580-8850 and entering 6729.
Comments may be submitted through Oct. 6.
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled people who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact Tony Gallagher, Environmental Analysis Unit, at 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1598, 919-707-6069 or email@example.com as early as possible so arrangements can be made.
Those who do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior by calling 1-800-481-6494.