of February 2017, NC DOT is moving forward to finalize the designs of
the preferred route alternative for the I-26 Connector in Asheville.
Once the design is finalized, a Final Environmental Impact Statement will be issued. Thereafter, the final step of the connector planning phase will be the issuance of Record of Decision that identifies the preferred route.
The I-26 Connector is an approximately 7-mile, median-divided, fully
controlled-access freeway accessible only via interchanges which will
connect I-26 in southwest Asheville to U.S. 19/23/70 in northwest
Asheville. As currently proposed, the project involves three sections:
: Upgrading I-240 from the I-26/I-40
interchange to the I-240/Patton Avenue interchange, including upgrading
and expanding the I-240 interchanges at Brevard, Amboy and Haywood
: Construction of a new interstate on
a new location from the Patton Avenue interchange across the French
Broad River connecting to U.S. 19/23/70 near or south of the Broadway
interchange to U.S. 19/23/70.
: Improving the I-40 interchanges with Smokey Park Highway, I-26/I-240 and Brevard Road.
To reduce the required “right of way” the I-26 Connect will be constructed with a barrier median.
“To reduce the required right-of-way, there would be a barrier median dividing opposing directions of travel."
NC Dept. of Transportation
The preceding sentence bears repeating because it means that DOT will
be acquiring necessary rights-of-way along the entire 7-mile corridor
for construction of the connector from the property owners in and along
the I-26 connection corridor. There will be substantial full and
partial condemnations along the corridor which may be permanent takings
or temporary takings.
As I discussed in a previous article, "Eminent Domain (Condemnation)
regarding condemnation procedures in North Carolina, state government
representatives and contract appraisers will be canvassing the
potentially-affected property owners in the near future, if not
If you are notified that your property may be subject to eminent domain
proceedings, or that the DOT is interested in purchasing all or a
portion of your property, to protect the value of your property, I
strongly recommend that you contact an attorney of your choosing who
has substantial experience in condemnation proceedings.
Fortunately, Asheville and Buncombe County have a number of excellent
attorneys who have experience in eminent domain proceedings. These
attorneys will be able to assist you to maximize the value of your loss
if property is condemned or to minimize the actual land to be taken.
If you would like to know more about the procedural aspects of Eminent Domain, see my Eminent Domain article
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