The City of Asheville is happy to announce the completion of the Haywood Streetscape and Infrastructure Improvement project, which features expanded public sidewalk space and improved pedestrian access and amenities.
The project, which took 10 months of construction, included sewer and water line upgrades in the Haywood Street vicinity (including College Street, Walnut Street and Rankin Avenue) and the reconstruction of deteriorated sidewalks, resulting in a brand new look for Haywood Street. Only a few final touches remain, including installation of parking meter-heads, planting of a few remaining trees, installation of tree guards, installation of trash/recycling bins and finishing details as-needed.
Public input informed the design for Haywood Street. Area businesses weighed-in on the construction schedule and were integral in making decisions that maintained on-street parking and loading zones.
- The Haywood Street enhancements incorporate wider and safer sidewalks, stormwater improvements, better ADA access, new light poles and other street furniture as well as quality decorative features, including pavers at the Battery Park intersection, brick accents along the sidewalk, granite curbs and a brick plaza area outside of the library.
- The Urban Trail station “Shopping Daze” was relocated to an area that provides improved access and visibility, an adjustment made in consultation with the Urban Trail Committee. Also, a creative collaboration is underway with the Pack Memorial Library, where author quotes will be installed in the sidewalk space outside the library entrance.
In order to complete as much work as possible during the slower months, construction began in January. Later in the project, some of the heaviest work involving full street closures was completed during the initial COVID lockdown, when many stores were not allowed to be open. Still, it was an intensive project that had impacts including noise, dust and traffic detours.
The City worked to minimize the negative impacts of construction by consolidating management of this multi-agency project. Coordination and communication was prioritized throughout the project through regular email updates, meetings with merchants, and a full-time on-site superintendent available during all construction hours. A partnership between the City and the Asheville Downtown Association supported wayfinding and business promotional signage throughout construction.
While everything you see above ground was paid for through the City’s Bond program, the important underground infrastructure upgrades were paid for through a cost-sharing partnership with the Municipal Service District (MSD) and the City’s Water Department, which operates as an enterprise fund.
Support impacted businesses
This holiday season is a great time to support local businesses throughout the community.
Join us in celebrating the completion of this project by supporting the businesses on Haywood Street, of course in a COVID-safe manner!
COVID holiday shopping safety tips
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has offered guidance for Black Friday and holiday shopping, available at this link. Here are some highlights.
Before you go shopping:
- Check to see if the store offers online shopping or curbside pick-up that can be used instead of in-person shopping.
- Check to see the store hours and consider going at off-times, so there are fewer people in the store.
- Check to see if the stores offer special hours for people with high risk for severe illness.
- Wear a cloth face mask and bring hand sanitizer with you to the store.
When you are out shopping:
- Follow the Three W’s: Wear a face covering, wait 6 feet from other people, and wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
- Remember that all retail establishments in North Carolina are required to limit customer occupancy to no more than 50% and have all employees and customers wear face masks.
- Have a list of items to buy to limit browsing and do not unnecessarily touch multiple items.