Project Overview and Purpose
Planning is underway on a proposed project to build Balfour Parkway, which would be a 4.6-mile four-lane median-divided roadway from N.C. 191 (Haywood Road) to U.S. 64, north of Hendersonville.
Balfour Parkway is identified in the area's comprehensive transportation plan as helping improve east-west travel in Henderson County.
According to the plan, the U.S. 64 corridor is becoming increasingly congested since it is currently the only option for east-west travel through the area. Because of the lack of east-west roadways and physical constraints to travel, motorists take indirect routes, which increases travel time.
The result, the plan notes, is a transportation system with recurring congestion and excessive travel delays.
This project is in the early stages of the planning process, and roadway design options – referred to as alternatives – have not been developed.
The 2016-2025 State Transportation Improvement Program – the N.C. Department of Transportation's 10-year plan that identifies what projects the state will fund – includes funding only for acquiring land for the new road. Construction is currently scheduled for funding after 2025, but because the State Transportation Improvement Program is updated every two years, construction funding could be allocated before then.
Environmental Planning Underway
While Balfour Parkway is state-funded, the potential addition of an interchange with I-26 would involve an approval by the Federal Highway Administration. The proposed project is following a process outlined by the National Environmental Policy Act, a law that requires federal agencies to study the environmental effects of their proposals and document the analysis. Once all studies are complete, an environmental document that details the findings – called an Environmental Assessment – will be released to the public.
The project study area – the land where a new road might be located – is outlined in red on the vicinity map and includes the existing east-west route (N.C. 191/U.S. 25 Business/U.S. 64). The yellow shading on the study area map indicates the area where fieldwork will begin.
Over the next several months, project engineers, surveyors, geologists and others representing NCDOT and other state and federal agencies will be in the project study area – possibly including private property – locating and measuring features such as utilities, property corners, transportation features and the limits of streams and wetlands.
These representatives will be wearing highly reflective safety vests and, as part of their work, might use stakes and hang various colors of flagging tape on trees and shrubs. These stakes and flagging do not indicate the location of the proposed roadway, but they are critical for NCDOT's planning and for the environmental review process. It is important that the stakes and flagging not disturbed and that they remain in place during the study.
2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan
Balfour Parkway is included in the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization's 2040 Metropolitan Transportation Plan, which recommends construction of a "new four-lane expressway from N.C. 191, north of Stony Mountain Road, to U.S. 64, north of Nix Road, in Hendersonville." The plan's recommended time frame for construction is 2026-2030.
Balfour Parkway has been included in long range transportation plans since 2005, including the area's 2008 comprehensive transportation plan.
NCDOT Feasibility Study
In September 2014, NCDOT completed a feasibility study that examined construction of the proposed Balfour Parkway and also investigated two cross-sections:
- A four-lane divided expressway section on 250 feet of right of way
- A four-lane divided rural parkway section on 250 feet of right of way
The feasibility study found that the four-lane divided roadway would be able to accommodate traffic volumes projected for 2035. It also identified resources that would need to be considered in the planning and design process.
Please note: A feasibility study is an assessment of the practicality of a proposed project and is intended to determine if a proposal is economically justified, if it is acceptable on an environmental or social perspective or if eventual construction and operation can be financed and managed.
The designs and alignments prepared during the feasibility study are conceptual in nature and are subject to change during the planning and design phase as additional information and public comments are factored in.
Extensive environmental studies are underway on this project that will lead to developing potential study alternatives and identifying possible new location routes.
Input from the public is an integral part of NCDOT's project development process, and public involvement is encouraged.
NCDOT is seeking comments from the public, local officials and resource and regulatory agencies about the study area, any concerns with roadway travel through the study area and about the proposed project itself.
The information being collected will help the project team identify important issues, topics and resources that will be considered as the team develops alternatives.
To provide a comment, contact a project team member listed below on this page under Contact Information.
NCDOT periodically sends newsletters about proposed projects to help keep those in the study area informed about planning and development.
|Project planning process begins
|Environmental Assessment completed
|Final environmental decision document approved
|Right of way acquisition begins
||To be determined
* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change
Kristina Miller, P.E.
Consultant Project Manager
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John Williams, P.E.
NCDOT Project Development Engineer
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Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.