HENDERSONVILLE – This time, the major traffic shift is occurring in Henderson County.
Another major milestone in the Interstate 26 Widening project is scheduled for Thursday night.
On Friday morning, traffic on a 4-mile stretch of I-26 West in Henderson County will drive on new concrete from Butler Bridge Road to Airport Road.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation will close I-26 West from U.S. 64 (Exit 49) to Airport Road (Exit 40) on Thursday night which will allow crews from Archer-Wright Joint Venture to safely perform the final tasks of the traffic shift.
“It’s good to conclude an important phase of the project, and we look forward to completing the project late next summer,” Division 14 Resident Engineer Mike Patton said. “Drivers will certainly notice a difference and the improvements.”
Drivers will notice 4-foot-wide shoulder on the median and full shoulders on the outside lane of this stretch starting Friday morning. In addition, the traffic switch restores access to the I-26 West rest area near the Buncombe County line.
Switching traffic to the new concrete — on what will eventually become I-26 west — will allow crews to concentrate road construction operations in the median. When those are complete early next summer, the portion from U.S. 25 to Airport Road will be functionally complete.
The closure on Thursday night will begin no earlier than 8 p.m. A marked detour — with longer green lights to accommodate interstate traffic — will guide drivers west on U.S. 64, through downtown Hendersonville and north on Asheville Highway (U.S. 25 Business) to Airport Road where drivers may return to I-26 at Exit 40 or continue north to I-40.
Transportation officials remind drivers to avoid distractions, maintain a safe speed and obey all posted traffic signs.