Project Maps
Project Map

Project Area Map

Section A Map

Section B Map

Section C Map

Section D Map

Project Fast Facts
  • Status: Projects Under Construction
  • County: Watauga and Ashe
  • Type of Project: Widening
  • STIP Number: R-2915 (sections A, B, C, D and E)
  • Estimated Cost: $154,710,928
  • Start Date: Summer 2015
Photos

Photos

U.S. 221 Widening Logo

Project Overview and Purpose

Work is underway to widen U.S. 221, from U.S. 421 in Deep Gap to U.S. 221 Business/N.C. 88 in Jefferson, into to four-lane median-divided highway.

The 16.1-mile project is designed to improve traffic flow, increase capacity reduce the number of crashes and increase regional connectivity along this highly traveled corridor.

U.S. 221 is key to the High Country and connecting Boone with Jefferson. It is the main corridor into Ashe County for commuters and commercial vehicles alike. Ashe County is the largest producer of Christmas trees in the nation and is home to a GE Aviation plant.

Much of the widening involves smoothing out curves and reducing grade inclines which provide a greater sight distance for all motorists.

Project Highlights

The widening project is being completed in five sections:

  • U.S. 421 to Idlewild Road in Watauga and Ashe counties (referred to as Section A) is 2.8-miles and is estimated to cost $25.6 million.  (View map)
  • Idlewild Road to North of South Fork New River in Ashe County (referred to as Section B) is 1.8 miles and estimated to cost $21.3 million. (View map)
  • South Fork New River to South of N.C. 194 in Ashe County (referred to as Section C) is 4 miles and is estimated to cost $45 million. (View map)
  • South of N.C. 194 to North of N.C. 163 in Ashe County (referred to as Section D) is 4 miles long and is estimated to cost $26 million. (View map)
  • N.C. 163 to U.S. 221 Business/N.C. 88 in Jefferson (referred to as Section E) is 3.5 miles and is estimated to cost $15.4 million.

Project Timeline

Section A

Milestone Dates*
Let date Sept. 15, 2015
Construction begins December 2015
Right of way acquisition In progress

Section B

Milestone Dates*
Let date Sept. 15, 2015
Construction begins December 2015
Right of way acquisition In progress

Section C

Milestone Dates*
Bidding process begins November 2016
Let date Nov. 15, 2016
Right of way acquisition In progress

Section D

Milestone Dates*
Let date Feb. 17, 2015
Construction begins March 2015
Right of way acquisition July 2015
Construction complete 2019

Section E

Milestone Dates*
Right of way acquisition 2017
Bidding process begins 2019

* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change

Contact Information

Trent Beaver, P.E.
Division 11 Construction Engineer
Send a message
(336) 903-9117
P.O. Box 250
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659

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.