To help provide for high-speed, safe and efficient travel, planning and development is underway on a proposed project to widen approximately 22.2 miles of I-26 from U.S. 25, near Hendersonville, to I-40/240, south of Asheville.
The project is divided into two project sections:
- Section I-4400 is a 13.6-mile stretch that begins at U.S. 25 (Exit 54) near Hendersonville, and extends along I-26 west to N.C. 280 (Exit 40).
- Section I-4700 is an 8.6-mile stretch that extends along I-26 from N.C. 280 west to the I-40/240 interchange. Work will also involve replacing the Blue Ridge Parkway Bridge over I-26.
Widening I-26 in the area would help improve existing and projected deficiencies when it comes to roadway capacity.
Sections of I-26 currently operate at levels of congestion characterized by unstable travel speeds with a high level of discomfort to the driver. As projected traffic volumes increase, more sections of I-26 are projected to operate at similar levels of congestion. By 2040, I-26 is anticipated to operate over capacity, hindering its ability to serve high-speed regional travel.
The project would also improve insufficient pavement structure and deteriorating existing road surface conditions. The existing roadway surface on I-26 in the project area has twice, most recently in 2011, undergone major rehabilitation.