Project Study Area
Project Map

Project Study Area Map

Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Development
  • County: Buncombe
  • Type of Project: Improvements to Highway and Bridges
  • STIP Number: A-0010A
  • Estimated Cost: $184,000,000
  • Right of Way Acquisition Start: 2018
US 19/23 (Future I-26) Improvements Logo


The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is preparing environmental and engineering studies for the proposed US 19/23 (Future I-26) Improvements Project, which is programmed in the 2013-2023 Draft State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) as project number A-0010A. The STIP is a list of projects that NCDOT proposes to undertake, which also includes estimated project costs and schedule projections.

The improvements to US 19/23 are being proposed to address traffic congestion, bridge conditions and pavement conditions from just north of I-240 in Asheville to just south of Stockton Road (Exit 13) near Mars Hill in Buncombe County. The project may include adding lanes to portions of US 19/23, replacing bridges, and repaving sections of the highway. The existing roadway is a 4-lane, median-divided freeway along the entire route.

Click here to see a map of the Project.

News and Updates

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Comment Summary

CIW #1 - Looping Presentation

US 19/23 Improvements, NCDOT Project Newsletter#1

News Releases

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Project Context

Current land use along the project corridor includes residential, institutional, commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties. Land uses in the southern portion of the study area are urban, while land uses in the northern portion of the study area are rural.

Project Purpose & Need

This project is needed to address:

  • Traffic congestion;
  • Improvement or replacement of bridges; and
  • Replacement of deteriorated pavement.

Study Process

The US 19/23 (Future I-26) Improvements Project will be developed in accordance with the Section 404 / NEPA Interagency Merger Process, which merges project compliance with Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (known as the Clean Water Act) and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. This process was established to streamline the project development and permitting processes, and to allow for collaborative decision-making to avoid, minimize, or mitigate for impacts to the human and natural environment while meeting the safety and mobility of the traveling public and the purpose and need for the project. Local, state, and federal agency representatives (known as the Interagency Merger Process Team, or the Interagency Team) meet to discuss project issues, and to make decisions at major milestones throughout the project development (planning) process.

The Interagency Team will meet in March 2014 to develop the formal purpose of and need for the project, and the design options for detailed study. Subsequent meetings of the Interagency Team will be held to discuss bridging decisions, selection of the design option(s), and minimization of project impacts.

For more information on NEPA, the Study Process, and the Interagency Merger Process, please see the following link:

Project Timeline for 2014
January 2014February 2014March 2014
Continue Environmental Studies

Continue to work on Draft Purpose & Need Statement, and Identify Design Options Interagency Meeting to establish formal Purpose & Need Statement and Design Options for Detailed Study

Contact Information

Project Hotline: 1-800-233-6315 (English and Spanish)

Christy Shumate, P.E.
Project Planning Consultant
(919) 854-6200
Send a message
701 Corporate Center Drive
Suite 475
Raleigh, NC 27607

Karen S. Reynolds
NCDOT Project Planning Engineer
(919) 707-6038
Send a message
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548