Skyland Drive to get sidewalks

Sidewalks are coming to Skyland Drive in Sylva along a 0.7-mile section stretching from the Old Asheville Highway to its intersection with Chipper Curve Road.

Sylva’s commissioners voted unanimously Sept. 28 to approve $104,000 as the town’s contribution toward a $519,000 project to be carried out by the N.C. Department of Transportation. When completed, the project will result in sidewalk on both sides of Skyland Drive from the Old Asheville Highway to East Sylva Circle, a distance of about 0.4 miles, with the remaining length toward Chipper Curve Road paved only on the west side of the road.

The endeavor would address what has been a problem area for Sylva, as that piece of road is central to the town and home to a smattering of houses and businesses. However, with no sidewalks pedestrians can often be found walking in the road.

“I know for safety’s sake this is good, because so many people walk on the road there,” Mayor Lynda Sossamon said following the board’s vote.

Town Manager Paige Dowling said the DOT would start acquiring right-of-way between April and June of 2018, a process that is estimated to take about a year. Construction will likely begin around April 2019.

Sylva’s $104,000 contribution represents the required 20 percent match toward the total project cost. However, according to the contract the town would be responsible for paying the entirety of any project cost above the estimated $519,000. Of the $104,000, $86,000 will go toward construction, with the remaining dollars funding engineering and right of way costs.

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