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Contract Awarded for Russ Avenue Renovations

​WAYNESVILLE – Years of planning, discussion, public input and technical engineering is finally coming to fruition along Russ Avenue.

N.C. Department of Transportation officials recently awarded a $42.8 million contract to modernize, increase safety, and add multimodal elements on Russ Avenue. 

Buchanan & Sons Inc. of Whittier earned the contract as the lowest qualified bidder and may begin as soon as Jan. 29. The contract calls for completion of the comprehensive improvements in February of 2028. 

“We are delighted to deliver this project to the residents and visitors in Waynesville and Haywood County,” Division 14 Engineer Wanda Payne said. “Projects of this magnitude are not possible except for the coordination and communication between citizens, NCDOT and all agencies involved.”

The project contains three significant segments:
•    From North Main Street to Boundary Street: This section includes building two lanes with a posted speed limit of 20 mph and improving the safety and accessibility of sidewalks.
•    From Boundary Street to Walnut Street: This section includes building three lanes — two southbound and one northbound — with a posted speed limit of 20 mph, plus sidewalks and shared northbound and southbound bike lanes. 
•    From Walnut Street to Phillips Road: This section includes building four lanes divided by a 17.5-foot median with a posted speed limit of 35 mph, plus sidewalks and bike lanes. It also includes replacing the bridge over Southern Railroad and the bridge over Richland Creek plus improving the ramps to and from U.S. 23/74.

Local NCDOT traffic engineers and the design team have developed a traffic management plan that will limit major interruptions to daily travel. The plan includes detours utilizing U.S. 23/74 during ramp construction and using local roads — including a new roundabout at Walnut and North Main streets — for roads connecting to Russ Avenue during bridge replacement. Detour details will be announced prior to installation.

“The improvements to this corridor will benefit residents and visitors for decades to come,” Payne said. “We know there will be a few temporary traffic disruptions, but the improved connectivity for people — in vehicles, on bikes or walking — will be beneficial for decades.”


1/25/2024 9:21 AM