NC-107 is one of the main arteries through the Town of Sylva, and serves as a primary commercial corridor in Jackson County. There is dense commercial development throughout the project area with many driveways and intersections within the project limits. As many as 32,400 vehicles per day currently travel through the project corridor.
In 2018, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) proposed to improve NC-107 from south of NC-116 (Webster Road) to US 23 Business (Asheville Highway) and US 23 Business from Skyland Drive to Municipal Drive. NCDOT proposed a median-divided four-lane road, which included new sidewalks and bike lanes. The new design expanded the footprint of NC 107 and threatened to impact a number of businesses located along the corridor.
ADC was contacted by representatives of Smart Roads Alliance in June 2018 and asked if we would examine NCDOT’s current proposal. After reaching out to the Town of Sylva and Southwestern Commission, ADC presented a scope of work to the Sylva Board of Commissioners, which was accepted on August 6, 2018.
For this project, ADC assembled a volunteer team of transportation specialists to examine NCDOT’s plan for NC-107. We were encouraged to explore any and all alternatives that we thought were feasible. The Town of Sylva, the Southwestern Commission, and Smart Roads Alliance all helped in the design of our process, as well as efforts to engage the larger community.
Despite the impacts anticipated by the expanded Right-of-Way, the ADC design team determined that the currently proposed roadway improvement plan for NCDOT’s NC-107 project is the most feasible way to meet the documented existing and future corridor mobility and safety needs and goals. Given the numerous corridor constraints, our team did not uncover any substantially new alternatives that would achieve similar results without adding business impacts and increasing local funding requirements.