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I-26 work gets earlier start date
Saturday, 06 February 2016 18:12

I-40 interchange in Black Mountain also accelerated

From Staff Reports

The initial construction date for part of the I-26 Connector through Asheville has been advanced — by a year, the North Carolina Board of Transportation revealed on Jan. 7.

In addition, the board said it also will accelerate work to build a new Interstate 40 interchange in Black Mountain.

What’s more, the board said it has added several Asheville projects to the state’s long-term plan, which include building bicycle facilities to McDowell Street, between downtown and Biltmore Village; and to Broadway Street, between Interstate 240 and U.S. 19-23. 

The state Transportation Improvement Program updates were made possible through additional funding approved in the state’s 2015-16 budget. For instance, more than $200 million in gas tax and vehicle fee revenue that had gone to programs, such as the State Highway Patrol, was shifted instead to the Department of Transportation in the budget. Also, legislators increased vehicle fees.

Construction now is projected by the TIP to begin in 2023 on the portion of the I-26 Connector to run between the I-240/Patton Avenue interchange in West Asheville northeast to U.S. 19-23 near Montford. Work on that section, which would include a new crossing of the French Broad River north of Bowen Bridge, had been scheduled to start in 2024.

However, the new date, like virtually every project in the TIP, is subject to change, given that funding problems and planning issues often alter DOT schedules. 

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Council votes to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Asheville
Saturday, 06 February 2016 18:10

From Staff Reports

Asheville City Council voted unanimously on Jan. 12 to adopt Indigenous Peoples’ Day as a replacement for Columbus Day locally.

The proclamation states that Asheville was built on the homelands and villages of native people who lived in the area before the Americas were settled.

Sage Dunston, and other members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, attended the Jan. 12 council meeting to observe the proceedings.

“I think this is within the color and spirit of Asheville, such a tolerant and inclusive place, to celebrate the contributions of Cherokee,” Dunston told WLOS-TV (News 13) afterward.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day will be celebrated on the second Monday of every October, which is also Columbus Day.

The change had been proposed by Councilman Gordan Smith, who is a candidate for the District 1 seat on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Smith wanted the day to celebrate Native American contributions, a release from his election campaign stated.

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