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 is holding the following public hearing to get input from the public about building an interchange at I-40 and Liberty Road as well as realigning Liberty Road from Smokey Park Highway to Monte Vista Road:

Documents and Maps for Public Review

Public Hearing Materials

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
4-7 p.m.

St. Francis Asbury United Methodist Church Gymnasium
725 Asbury Road
Candler, NC 28715

Please note that large-scale maps of the preliminary project design, including the two interchange configuration alternatives, will be on display, but there will not be a formal presentation.

The opportunity to provide written comments will be provided at the meeting, and comments are encouraged.

In addition, comments may be submitted online or by mail at the address below until June 23, 2017.

Ahmad Al-Sharawneh
N.C. Department of Transportation
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled individuals who want to participate in these meetings. Anyone requiring such services should contact Diane Wilson, at (919) 707-6073, as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.

For individuals who speak only Spanish or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, interpretive services will be available at the meeting upon request. For more information, call 1-800-481-6494 prior to the meeting.

The NCDOT project team will review all feedback – regardless of how it is submitted – and explore options to incorporate and address concerns where and when feasible. NCDOT will select the preferred alternative after the public comment period and continue to develop the project and present its progress at a later date.

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

August 2016 Public Meeting

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

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.