North Carolina mountain highway project completed

© Shutterstock

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) officials are espousing the benefits of a recently completed project widening eight miles of mountainous highway along U.S. 19E.

The work targeted the highway’s intersection with N.C. 80 in Yancey County, spanning to the multi-lane highway section just west of Spruce Pine in Mitchell County.

“We are very happy to complete a major project that will bring major benefits to residents and businesses in Yancey and Mitchell counties,” Division 13 Engineer Mark Gibbs said. “Tourism, other local industries, and local residents will all benefit from the economic opportunities provided by the new highway.”

The completed project translates to trucks and tourists now traveling on four lanes from Interstate 26 in Madison County, through all of Yancey County, and into Spruce Pine. Long term U.S. 19E plans include extending four-lane sections east of Spruce Pine and into Avery County, per authorities.

“This is a project that is going to make traveling a lot safer and a lot easier in our northern mountains,” Division 13 Construction Engineer Randy McKinney said. “Folks will be able to get to work, school, and leisure activities quicker, easier, and safer than ever.”

The eastbound and westbound lanes were divided by a grassed median matching the first 21 miles from Interstate 26 in Madison County. The highway was upgraded to present safety standards with additional drainage, design improvements to the alignment of the roadway, guardrails, signage, and pavement markings.