Since 2006, the Asheville Design Center has continued to use its community-based design capacity to generate improvements to the 1-26 Connector that will better meet the Asheville community planning and development goals. The ADC presented a proposal for a new alternative in Section B of the I-26 redesign. This alternative is a modification of the Alternative 4 that would reduce the right-of-way needed for the project by using the existing US 23/70 alignment as part of the project. Modified and improved in 2008, this version of the redesign is now referred to as Alternative 4B.

Working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) as well as the City of Asheville and Buncombe County, the ADC continues to press the need to study additional design changes for Alternative 4B. These include: reducing the length of elevated structure along the US 23/70 alignment west of Montford; reducing the impact on the Hill Street neighborhood; improving the aesthetics of the river crossing; and reducing noise and visual impacts

I-26 Comparison

Design Goals

  • Separation of local and interstate traffic
  • Matching scale of project to character of community
  • Reunification and connectivity of community
  • Minimization of neighborhood and local business impacts
  • Use of updated traffic modeling software and data
  • Maintenance of compatibility with community’s design vision and plans; incorporation of community-selected design features
  • Creation of full interstate movements between I-26 and I-40
  • Minimization of air quality and other environmental impacts
  • Emphasis on safety – during contruction an in the design of the final product