The proposed I-26 Connector would be a median-divided freeway, accessible only by interchanges, that would connect I-26 in southwest Asheville to U.S. 19/23/70 in northwest Asheville.
Approximately 7-miles, the project involves four sections:
- Section A involves upgrading I-240 (as well as interchanges at Brevard, Amboy roads) from the I-26/I-240 interchange with I-40 to Haywood Road. This section includes initial improvements at I-26/I-40/I-240 interchange and along I-40 between I-26/I-40/I-240 interchange and U.S. 19/23 (Smokey Park Highway).
- Section B includes building the interstate on a new location from the Haywood Road interchange north across the French Broad River, tying into U.S. 19/23/70 south of Broadway.
- Section C involves improvements to the I-40 interchanges with Smokey Park Highway, I-26/I-240 and Brevard Road.
- Section D involves improvements along Riverside Drive from Hill Street to Broadway Street.
NCDOT is utilizing concrete median barriers for the widening on I-26/I-240, instead of a grassed median to reduce necessary right-of-way.
Once complete, the freeway would be part of I-26, which extends from Kingsport, Tenn., to Charleston, S.C.
This project is listed as Project I-2513 in the
N.C. Department of Transportation's State Transportation Improvement Program and is funded for approximately $1.2 billion.