(From Blowing Rock News article)
By David Rogers. July 11, 2011. BLOWING ROCK — It looks like drivers through Blowing Rock will avoid any major inconvenience until next Spring, but travelers beyond Blowing Rock, to and from Boone, are likely to encounter periodic delays beginning next week, Blowing Rock News has learned.
The “big one” — at least as far as High Country travelers and communters is concerned — is the widening of U.S. 321 from Blackberry Road south of Blowing Rock, along the current route of the by-pass through town, to a connection with the existing four-lane highway beginning at Shoppes on the Parkway. The long anticipated (and delayed) project is welcomed by many, dreaded by some — but inevitable in any event.
According to Mr. Trent Beaver, PE, the Division Construction Engineer, Division 11, for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), the widening project is “…still scheduled to be Let for contract on September 20, 2011. This means that most likely no major grading or other construction will begin until Spring. Our intent is that Utility Relocation will take place this Fall and continue through Winter, as weather permits.”
Several readers of Blowing Rock News have asked if we had heard anything about the planned repaving of U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, noting that while some patchwork appeared to have occurred, they thought it was supposed to be a major repaving. The NCDOT’s Mr. Beaver explained to Blowing Rock News, “The Contractor has indicatd a tentative starting date for the resurfacing on U.S. 321 between Blowing Rock and Boone of July 18. This section will consist of milling approximately 1.5 inches of the existing, deteriorated asphalt, full width.”
Mr. Beaver added, “Then repaving and replacing pavement markings and reflective snowplowable pavement markers (will occur).”