Road construction around Watauga County is in full swing as a result of the mild winter of 2011-2012.
Here is a full scale update on all the major road projects in the county as of Saturday April 21. Information provided by Doug Eller – DOT resident engineer, Ed Treadaway – assistant resident engineer, Caprice Cheek – NCDOT, and Renee Whitener – Blue Ridge Electric.
Work is progressing well on 194 between Valle Crucis and Matney. Progress continues on the three retaining walls and continuing rehab on remainder of pavement sections.
Below are two videos of 194 between Valle Crucis and Matney. Shot on Saturday April 14 this will give the viewer some idea of the progress being made on the road. Paving operations took place on some sections of the road in March.
This video is going up the mountain from Valle Crucis to Matney
This video is going down the mountain from Matney to Valle Crucis
Contractor plans to begin placing final inch of pavement starting April 30th. Pavement markings and final touch up items will occur after that. Total completion on the project is expected the early part of the summer.
BLOWING ROCK ROAD/321
Stage 1 of 2 stages is scheduled to begin on the bridge at Burger King on Monday April 30.
Crews will replace a 30 foot wide section in the middle of the road/bridge, which will involve closing the middle three lanes of 321/Blowing Rock Road. Only one lane of travel will be open in each direction. The contractor has 60 days to complete the work, barring any unforeseen problems and weather setbacks.
After work on the middle section is complete another stage is planned that involves replacing the bridge deck on both outside lanes. That part of the project should not take as long as the first part of the replacement.
The bridge was built at least 50 or more years ago and was widened to add additional lanes many years later (the year is not immediately known).
321 IN BLOWING ROCK
The mild winter has allowed progress on 321 to be ahead of schedule in most aspects.
The key phrases to remember are “road closures” and “lane closures”. Short term lane closures, meaning minimal delays, can occur any weekday during the life of the project. No road closures, meaning total road closed, are planned in the short term but could be possible if the need arises for blasting, rock removal etc.
Blue Ridge Electric is still in the process of moving the overhead lines to a temporary location out of the way for the road project. BREMCO is almost complete in moving the power lines from Possum Hollow Road to the Broyhill Furniture Store. After the road contractor has completed their work all lines from the Green Park Inn to the Shoppes on the Parkway will be placed underground and the temporary overhead lines along the road will be removed.
No lane closures for the life of the project can occur during the below times:
Monday-Friday 6am-8am & 5pm-6pm
Saturday & Sunday 9am-9pm
No lane/road closures can occur during the below:
Memorial Day between the hours of 6am Friday and 6pm Tuesday
Independence Day between the hours of 6am the day before Independence Day and 6pm the day after Independence Day.
*If Independence Day is on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday, then between the hours of 6am the Thursday before Independence Day and 6pm the Tuesday after Independence Day.*
Labor Day between the hours of 6am Friday and 6pm Tuesday.
Thanksgiving Day between the hours of 6am Tuesday and 6pm Monday.
Christmas between the hours of 6am the Friday before the week of Christmas Day and 6pm the following Tuesday after the next week of Christmas Day.
For the Fall Foliage Season, all weekends in October between the hours of 6am Friday and 9am Monday.
For Appalachian State University home football games, between 12pm (noon) the day before the game to 9am the Monday after the game.
As directed by the Engineer any “Special Event” occurring in the town of Blowing Rock between 6am the day before the event and 9am the day after the event.
On holiday schedules no lane or road closures will occur, but the contractor can still work on the project.
Most structures that are schedule to be demolished are down.
North Carolina Highway Patrol has stepped up enforcement throughout the construction project.