Project Map
Project Map

Project Map

Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Development
  • County: Buncombe
  • Type of Project: Proposed New Interchange and Roadway
  • STIP Number: I-4759
  • Estimated Cost: $41.1 million
  • Property Acquisition Start: 2019
Liberty Road I-40 Interchange Logo

Project Overview and Purpose

Planning and development are underway on a proposed project that would involve building an interchange at I-40 and Liberty Road in Candler. The project would also involve realigning Liberty Road between Smokey Park Highway (U.S. 19/23/N.C. 151) and Monte Vista Road.

Locally, I-40 serves as a key east-west roadway for residents to get to Asheville. Motorists who want to drive on I-40, however, must use the existing 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.

Project Highlights

Proposed work would include converting the existing Liberty Road overpass into an interchange, and Liberty Road would be realigned between Smokey Park Highway and Monte Vista Road with two lanes north of I-40 and four lanes south of I-40.

As a result of a January 2017 Environmental Assessment (8.57 MB), the N.C. Department of Transportation has identified two design options, called alternatives, for the proposed interchange:

  • A partial cloverleaf interchange, which includes ramps in the southeast and northwest portions of the interchange. The southeast portion would include on- and off-ramps for eastbound I-40. The northwest portion would include the on- and off-ramps for westbound I-40.
  • A half cloverleaf interchange, which includes ramps in the southwest and northwest portions of the interchange. The southwest portion would include a two-lane eastbound I-40 on-ramp and the eastbound I-40 off-ramp. The northwest portion would include the westbound I-40 on-ramp and the westbound i-40 off-ramp loop.

Diamond Interchange Alternative Removed

NCDOT considered a diamond interchange – with a ramp in all four quadrants – for the project but removed it from consideration in the Environmental Assessment as a result of public input and because of its impact on property owners and the natural environment.

Project History

Environmental Assessment Approved

On Jan. 30, 2017, the N.C. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration approved the Environmental Assessment (8.57 MB) for the Liberty Road and I-40 interchange. The document details an evaluation of environmental factors in the project area and determines if more environmental studies are needed. The next step for this project will be a public hearing in the spring of 2017.

Public Involvement

The N.C. Department of Transportation held a public meeting in Candler on Aug. 30, 2016, at which time NCDOT representatives received feedback from the community and answered questions about the project.

The maps and materials available at the meeting are available below for review:

Project Timeline

Milestone Date*
Environmental Assessment approved Jan. 30, 2017
Public hearing Spring 2017
Final environmental document (Finding of No Significant Impact) published Spring 2018
Right of way acquisition begins 2019
Construction begins 2021

* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change

Project Documents

Contact Information

Ahmad Al-Sharawneh
Project Planning Engineer
(919) 707-6010
Send a message
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548

Ricky Tipton, P.E.
Division Construction Engineer
(828) 251-6171
Send a message
55 Orange St.
Asheville, NC 28801

Kevin Moore, P.E.
Roadway Design
Project Engineer
(919) 707-6287
Send a message
1582 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1582

Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.