Project Overview and Purpose
The N.C. Department of Transportation is studying improvement options from Andrews to Stecoah in Cherokee and Graham counties as part of a proposed project to provide the transportation infrastructure necessary for the well-being of local residents and regional traffic.
Doing so would help improve travel time, reliability and safety in the area.
The region is known as Corridor K of the Appalachian Development Highway System – a network of road corridors that Congress established in 1965 to provide a safe, efficient transportation system for the Appalachian Region.
Corridor K extends from Dillsboro, in Jackson County, to I-75 in Cleveland, Tenn.
Given the challenges associated with the region's mountainous terrain and sensitive natural habitat, the proposed project is among the last of the Appalachian Development Highway System's corridors to be completed.
NOTE: The information below is a synopsis of the project's history, current status and next steps. More detailed information is also available for review.
A transit road through this region has been in various planning stages for decades. Due to the sensitive environment and natural resources in the area, NCDOT and other entities and municipalities are taking a fresh look at the project, sharing ideas and working on conceptual designs that would improve transportation routes through the region. The conceptual design work is expected to be complete in spring 2017.
Since environmental studies for the entire project were originally conducted in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the project has been in an intermediate state and was eventually put on hold in 2011.
In 2015, the study was reinitiated and a project team comprised of approximately 35 regulatory and resource agencies, transportation agencies, and local government representatives began moving through a process that allows for the exploration of a wide range of options before the project scope is refined to determine what options can be studied further.
Brian Burch, P.E.
NCDOT Construction Engineer
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253 Webster St.
Sylva, NC 28779
Amy Sackaroff, AICP
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801 Jones Franklin Road
Raleigh, NC 27606
Resources for Local Property Owners
Although the N.C. Department of Transportation works to minimize the number of homes and businesses displaced by a road project, it is inevitable, in many cases, that a certain amount of private property is needed. The following information explains right of way acquisition and answers questions about the process.