What's traffic like in the Corridor K Improvements project area?
Construction is underway for improvements to a 12-mile portion of Corridor K between Robbinsville and Stecoah. Corridor K extends from I-75 in Cleveland, Tenn., to Dillsboro in Jackson County, N.C.
The N.C. Department of Transportation, local and state officials broke ground on Corridor K at a ceremony in Robbinsville on Oct. 3, 2022. Although construction is underway, no completion date has been determined.
The 12-mile corridor between Robbinsville and Stecoah will include the following:
- Improve road alignments of U.S. 129, N.C. 143 and N.C. 28 between U.S. 129 south of Robbinsville and the existing four-lane section of N.C. 28 in Stecoah.
- Increase shoulder widths and add passing and climbing lanes for the length of the project. N.C. 143 and N.C. 28 will include two 12-foot lanes with 10-foot shoulders.
- Construct a bridge across N.C. 143 at Stecoah Gap. The Appalachian Trail will realign across the bridge. This bridge will offset any impacts associated with widening N.C. 143 and provide safe passage for wildlife and hikers using the trail.
- Add a 10-foot multiuse path for pedestrians and cyclists on the south side of N.C. 28 from Stecoah Road to Hyde Town Road.
- Construct sidewalks next to N.C. 143 from Robbinsville High School to the U.S. 129 / Five Point Road intersection.
Corridor K is part of the Appalachian Development Highway System, a network of road corridors established by Congress in 1965 to provide a safe and efficient transportation system for the Appalachian region.
This project is among the last of the Appalachian Development Highway System’s corridors to be completed due to the challenges associated with the region’s mountainous terrain and sensitive natural habitat.
NCDOT worked closely with numerous agencies and local governments on Corridor K, including:
- Graham County
- Appalachian Regional Commission
- Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- U.S. Forest Service
- Environmental Protection Agency
- N.C. Division of Water Resources
- N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
This project is listed as A-0009 in NCDOT's 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program. Estimated to cost $681 million, Corridor K is being paid for through a combination of funds from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission and federal discretionary grants (grants in which a federal agency selects the awardee).