ASHEVILLE – A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will begin a two-night process of converting Merrimon Avenue (U.S. 25) from Midland Road to W. T. Weaver Boulevard into a three-lane configuration the evening of Oct. 10.
The new configuration from Midland Road to W.T. Weaver Boulevard will consist of a northbound lane, a southbound lane, a center turn lane and bike lanes in both directions instead of the existing four-lane configuration.
The contractor, Rogers Group Inc., expects the work to take about two nights, depending on the weather. The contractor will remove the existing lane markings, place temporary striping and coordinate the lane markings with the new traffic signals on these two nights. Pavement markings for the bike lanes will be installed after resurfacing operations are completed later this year.
“NCDOT and our partners at the City of Asheville have developed a plan to complete the conversion with as little disruption to daily and rush-hour traffic as possible,” said Nathan Moneyham, NCDOT Division 13 Construction Engineer. “In less than 72 hours, this 1.5 mile section of Merrimon Avenue will convert from its existing pattern into the three-lane pattern.”
Once this is complete, the contractor plans to immediately start milling and repaving this section of the Merrimon Avenue, followed by the placement of permanent traffic markings with completion anticipated before Thanksgiving.
The improvements being completed on this northern section of Merrimon Avenue are known as a “road diet,” which typically involves converting an existing four-lane, undivided roadway segment to a three-lane segment consisting of two through lanes and a center, two-way left-turn lane. These improvements have been shown to greatly improve safety and mobility.