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 million
  • Right of Way Acquisition Start: 2019
US 19/23 (Future I-26) Improvements Logo


The N.C. Department of Transportation is preparing environmental and engineering studies for the proposed U.S. 19/23 (Future I-26) improvements project.

The improvements to U.S. 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 U.S. 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

Blank Comment Form

Comment Summary

CIW #1 - Looping Presentation

US 19/23 Improvements, NCDOT Project Newsletter#1

Ongoing surveying in the entire project area, for roadway design plan development. (This action is not an indication of which properties will be purchased for U.S. 19/23 right of way, to construct this project.)

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
  • Replacement of deteriorated pavement

Study Process

The U.S. 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 2017 to review major proposed environmental impacts concerning the project, and the design options for further detailed study. Subsequent meetings of the Project Interagency Team will be held to discuss bridging decisions, selection of the final design option(s), and further minimization of project impacts.

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

Current Project Timeline
Continue environmental studies and preliminary roadway design

Identify design options.

Environmental Assessment approved and public hearing conducted
Finding of No Significant Impact Statement approved

Right of Way Acquisition begins

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

Nathan Adima, P.E.
Project Manager
Central Project Delivery Team
(919) 707-6210
Send a message
1582 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1582