NOTE: Based on the results of the N.C. Department of Transportation's funding formula, this project was not funded in the current State Transportation Improvement Program and studies have concluded for the time being. If the project is funded at a later date, updates will be posted to this page.
The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to improve safety on N.C. 143 west of Robbinsville from West Buffalo Creek to N.C. 143 Business. N.C. 143, a windy, two-lane road through the mountains, serves as the primary east-west corridor for Graham County.
The 4.5-mile section of N.C. 143 targeted for improvements has a crash rate that exceeds the state's average for rural two-lane roads as well as the critical crash rate. Over a three-year period, 59 accidents were reported along this section, more than half involving motorcycles. N.C. 143 connects to the Cherohala Skyway and is located near the Tail of the Dragon, two popular destinations for motorcyclists.
Proposed improvements include widening the pavement and shoulders, straightening curves, constructing turn lanes, resurfacing, and installing guardrails. The rerouting of a portion of the existing highway near Buchanan Branch Road (S.R. 1125) is also being considered.