Planning and development are underway on a proposed project to build an interchange at I-40 and Liberty Road in Candler. The project also would involve realigning Liberty Road between Smokey Park Highway (U.S. 19/23/N.C. 151) and Monte Vista Road.
The interchange is currently under redesign to accommodate the future widening of I-40 to eight lanes, four in each direction. Right of way acquisition is underway.
Locally, I-40 serves as a key east-west roadway for residents traveling to Asheville. Motorists who want to use the interstate, however, currently must use the interchange at U.S. 19/23 (Exit 44) — approximately 2.5 miles to the east — or the interchange at Wiggins Road (Exit 37) — approximately 5.5 miles to the west.
In addition to the difficulty this creates for emergency service vehicles, the lack of an interchange contributes to poor traffic flow of local arterial roads — particularly U.S. 19/23 — as all long-distance travelers must go some distance to reach the interstate.
This project would give travelers easier access to I-40, improve network connectivity in western Buncombe County, and reduce travel times as well as congestion in the area.