I-26 Connector Project

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Happening Now

Current –The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is pending completion of the biological review with the Record of Decision (ROD) following no sooner than 90 days after the FEIS is issued.

Ongoing – The I-26 Connector Project Aesthetics Committee will be meeting at the NCDOT Division Office at 55 Orange Street on the first and third Tuesday of every month from 2:00 PM to 4:30 PM.

Ongoing – Beginning October 2019 through January 2020, the I-26 Connector Project Aesthetics Committee will also meet on the first Tuesday beginning on 10/1/19 from 2:00-4:30 P.M. located in Room 330 at the Buncombe County Building at 36 Woodfin Street (across from the YMCA).

Ongoing – The Bowen Bridge/Patton Avenue Subcommittee and the French Broad River Crossings and Flyovers Subcommittee of the I-26 Connector Project Aesthetics Committee will be meeting at Fractals every Tuesday until further notice from 9:30 A.M. and 10:25 A.M., respectively.

November 16, 2015 – A public hearing was held in Asheville for the 2015 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

December 16, 2015 – The City of Asheville submitted comments for the 2015 DEIS.

May 18, 2016 – The merger team chose Alternatives 4B, A, and F-1 as the Least Environmentally Damaging Preferred Alternative (LEDPA).

December 4, 2018 – A public hearing was held in Asheville for the 2018 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)

August 13, 2019, from 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M. – Design charettes for French Broad River Crossing and Flyovers Subcommittee at 29 North Market Street, Suite 610.

August 9, 2019 – The Design Guidelines Subcommittee Meeting of the I-26 Aesthetics Committee will be meeting at 171 Chestnut Street at 11:00 A.M.

August 27th and September 3rd, 10th and 24th – The General Design Guidelines Subcommittee (GDG) to meet 10:30 am to 12:00 noon; and the French Broad River Bridge and Flyover Subcommittee (FBR) will meet at 12:00 Noon to 1:15 P.M.  Current members of the GDG are Mike Zukoski and Susan Loftis, and current members of the FBR are Michael Adams and Susan Loftis.  The public is welcome.

October 8 and 22, 2019 – The General Design Guidelines Subcommittee will meet from 10:30 A.M. – Noon at 170 Montford Avenue.

December 19, 2019 – A brief design charrette will be held Thursday, December 19, 2019, 11:00 A.M. -11:35 A.M. to finalize some detailed design recommendations for the Riverside Cemetery Subcommittee of the Aesthetics Committee focusing very strictly on the physical details of the viaduct and the potential fencing separating the future greenway.   The meeting will occur at the lower studio at 171 West Chestnut Street.  Park on Montford and walk through the yard at 170 Montford to the rear yard lower level of the carriage house.

January 13, 2020 – Bowen Bridge Subcommittee meeting 11:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M. at 170 Montford Ave, Asheville NC 28801.

February 19, 2020 – The City’s I-26 Connector project internal working group met with the NCDOT and their consultant to review the micro-simulation and designs for the east side of the French Broad River.

I-26 Aesthetics Committee Meeting Dates are now being held every other month.  The next meeting is May 21, 2024, in person beginning at 2:00 pm located at NCDOT Regional Office at 55 Orange, Asheville, NC.  Or, Go-To-Meeting information. 
You can also dial in using your phone: +1 (872) 240-3412, Access Code: 939-885-973

Register now! [attendee.gotowebinar.com]

A presentation about the I-26 Connector project and mitigation for historic properties in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 Memorandum of Agreement

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements [link.gotowebinar.com]

Link to NCDOT Website of Draft of Memorandum of Agreement: https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/asheville-i-26-connector/Pages/project-documents.aspx
PUBLIC COMMENT TO NCDOT ENDS ON FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2020.  See the link to submit comments: https://www.ncdot.gov/projects/asheville-i-26-connector/Pages/photos-videos.aspx

April 29, 2021 – I-26 Connector Working Group Virtual Meeting from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM.  The following is the Agenda, Patton Avenue Redesign, and the link to join in the virtual meeting. For the Sam Schwartz April 2021 report produced for the I-26 Aesthetics Committee, please see the I-26 Connector Project Aesthetics Committee section below.

I-26 Connector Project Aesthetics Committee

The I-26 Connector Project Aesthetics Advisory Committee was established as an ad hoc committee to gather information and ideas about aesthetics to make the I-26 Connector project a cohesive and integrated part of Asheville.

The I-26Aesthetics Committee shall serve as a voice for interested parties represented by the Aesthetics Committee members and provide recommendations to the City about aesthetic treatments.  The new committee will typically meet on a monthly basis with special meetings on a case-by-case basis for an estimated one-year period.

Click HERE for the I-26 Connector Project Aesthetics Advisory Committee report to City Council

Click HERE for an electronic application form.

Supporting Documents Folder for the Aesthetics Advisory Committee

I-26 Aesthetics Committee Meeting Minutes 2018-to present

April 4, 2020 – Meeting on State Historical Preservation Office (SHPO)/Riverside Cemetery

I-26 Aesthetics Committee Report and Presentation to City Council on June 9, 2020.

I-26 Aesthetics Committee Report and Presentation to City Council on February 14, 2023.

Sam Schwartz September 19, 2018 Report – I-26 Connector Project, Final FEIS Technical Memorandum

Sam Schwartz April 2021 Report, Appendix A and B.

12-8-2023 Asheville I-26 Connector Phase 1 – Vertical Aesthetics Treatment from Aesthetics Committee Report


The proposed I-26 Connector project was first included in the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) as project I-2513 in 1989.

A working group was created at the request of the City of Asheville to discuss specific topics; including but not limited to the traffic forecast, visualizations, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, design refinements, the creation of an Aesthetics Advisory Committee (AAC), noise policies, and abatement measures.  Members of the working group include the City of Asheville, NCDOT project team, the consultant project team, Asheville Design Center, Buncombe County, and a minority community representative. The first working group meeting was held on March 24, 2016.

Supporting Documents and Information

I-26 Connector Project History

Community Meeting Summaries – Google Folder

Working Group Meeting Minutes – Google Folder

Asheville City Council Resolutions – Google Folder

Other Supporting Documents – Google Folder

NCDOT I-26 Connector Project Page

 I-26 Aesthetics Committee Approved Resolutions

I-26 Connector Project General Design Standards as of November 5, 2019

Burton Street Community Working Group

I-26 Aesthetics Committee Meeting Minutes from 2018 to present


Contact Information

Paul J. Ballard
Interim Director, City of Asheville Transportation Department
PO Box 7148
Asheville, NC 28802

Kevin E. Moore, PE
Senior Project Manager
NCDOT Project Management Unit