FLETCHER – Construction will begin Monday on the permanent entrance and exit ramps at the new Interstate 26 West rest area.
The operation requires the rest area, located at mile marker 41 near the Henderson/Buncombe County line, to close from Monday through mid-May for the safety of drivers and workers.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will remove the existing road, excavate dirt, and then build the new concrete entrance and exit ramps. A variety of commercial services for drivers are provided less than one mile on Airport Road. The eastbound rest area will remain open during this construction.
The I-26 West rest area opened last June after crews removed the old structure and built modern facilities for westbound and eastbound travelers. The outside features of the rest areas include 90 passenger car parking spaces, 30 semi-truck parking spaces, a patio picnic area, and a dedicated pet area with a fire hydrant. Inside, the ADA-compliant buildings feature high-efficiency lighting, low-flow water systems and decorative features highlighting western North Carolina.
This operation is part of the I-26 widening project which will reduce congestion and improve travel times when complete. The Henderson County portion of the widening project remains on schedule for completion in the fall of 2024.