Spring’s warmer weather brings not only longer days — it jumpstarts the City of Asheville’s ability to make sidewalk repairs in preparation for paving season. After a rainy winter that hampered Public Works installations, such as on stormwater systems, contractors are mobilizing for work on two major thoroughfares as part of the bond projects.
Another project not bond-related is about to get started and that is the repair of the Old Toll Road landslide.
Kenilworth Road: A contractor will start sidewalk repairs near the Kenilworth-Chiles intersection on March 16. This work is anticipated to take approximately 2 ½ months. The work will involve lane and sidewalk closures; no street closures are anticipated. It is being done in advance of the resurfacing, scheduled to begin around June 1 and last four-five weeks.
The sidewalks on Kenilworth Road need a small amount of repair work, most of it to replace non-ADA compliant ramps and driveways entrances that do not meet ADA specifications. There are not any long stretches of sidewalk work. The contractor plans to work the east side of the road to Tunnel Road and then work the west side of the road back to the Chiles intersection.
Be advised that some Kenilworth road stormwater replacement work is going on as well. If you do not live in the immediate neighborhood you may wish to re-route as there may be traffic delays due to lane closures the next four months.
The Kenilworth Road repaving project is part of the City’s Phase 3 Bond package. The entire 1 ½ mile length of Kenilworth Road will be resurfaced. Existing speed humps will be reinstalled. The budget for this project is $800,000.
State Street improvements: Sidewalk repair work will begin April 1, again most of it to replace non-ADA compliant ramps and driveways entrances. The resurfacing is scheduled to begin in mid-August (updated schedule).
During this time, motorists should expect delays due to flagged lane closures and those who do not live in the immediate neighborhood may want to reroute to avoid traffic delays. Also there will be some sidewalk closures because State Street only has sidewalk on one side of the street and there often will not be a feasible, safe route to pass pedestrians by the work zone.
Of note, the State Street project includes pedestrian improvements — flashing pedestrian beacons and new crosswalks — at Pennsylvania and Wellington streets. The Hanover intersection will have pedestrian signals incorporated into the traffic signals. These safety improvements were incorporated after checking in with the neighborhood.
The State Street project is also part of the City’s Phase 3 Bond package. The entire .8 mile length of State Street will be resurfaced. The budget for this project is $1.28 million.
The City’s bond transportation projects are on schedule and on budget. Keep up with progress by visiting Capital Project’s Bond Project Dashboard at this link.
Old Toll Road repairs
An April 19, 2019, landslide on Town Mountain damaged Old Toll Road, making it impassable. This was caused by approximately 3inches of rain that fell in a short period of time. This intense rain generated development of an “ephemeral springs” under the road and ultimately caused the slope to fail. In the process, much of Old Toll Road was destroyed and large amounts of debris deposited on private property.
The City closed Old Toll Road immediately and then contacted Bunnell Lammons Engineering for the design of the repair.
The design is complete and now a contract has been awarded for the repair. The contractor, B.H. Graning, will mobilize large equipment to the site either Saturday (March 14) or Monday (March 16) and start work the week of March 16. They anticipate this repair to take 60-70 days.
The design calls for a system of wired rock baskets terraced up the slope, which will then be filled with gravel and topped with soil and vegetation.
“This is a proven engineering solution applied to many other places in Western North Carolina,” said Asheville Streets Division Manager Chad Bandy. “The stabilized slope will be topped with a vegetation cover instead of a concrete retaining wall. This will blend in better with the environment.”
Once the slope is repaired Old Toll Road will be repaved and reopened to traffic.
The contract for this repair is $558,271, paid for with capital savings from previous projects that came in under budget.
Nearby neighbors could hear some daytime construction noise and truck traffic. Trucks will enter the site from the Town Mountain side of Old Toll Road.
While there will be several months of lane closures and traffic delays for these projects, repaired sidewalks and stormwater structures will be in place along with newly resurfaced streets as a reward. Please pardon our progress and thank you for your patience!