Public outcry over North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to eviscerate historic Walnut Street during Russ Avenue improvements slated for 2022 has, apparently, been heard loud and clear.
With nearly two years of prep work already under their belts, developers have cleared the first major hurdle for bringing a $20 million, 56,000-square-foot retail project that will include a Publix to Waynesville.
While most people agree that the $18 million Russ Avenue widening project in Waynesville is much-needed and long overdue, the long and winding road to groundbreaking has thus far been a rough one, even though construction won’t get a green light until at least 2022.
Waynesville, Sylva and Franklin’s main commercial thoroughfares are getting a makeover in the coming years that could reshape the fabric of these communities for decades to come. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has plans to change the five-lane drags into boulevards to improve safety and ease congestion.
Waynesville, Sylva and Franklin’s main commercial thoroughfares are getting a makeover, reshaping the fabric of these communities for decades to come.
A message sent by opponents of the Russ Avenue widening project’s Walnut Street segment appears to have been received loud and clear by state transportation officials.
After holding two public hearings that drew large crowds of opposition, Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown and the board of aldermen took an official stance on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s unpopular proposal for Russ Avenue improvements.
Although work on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s proposed improvements to Russ Avenue won’t begin until 2022, Waynesville residents have already been persistent and vociferous in their opposition to the Walnut Street segment of the project.
News of a historic portion of Walnut Street’s inclusion in the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plan for the widening of Russ Avenue in Waynesville went over with property owners like a ton of the bricks in Charles McDarris’ 90-something year old retaining wall.
Although many property owners and residents have lauded what they call a “much needed” widening project on Waynesville’s most heavily travelled artery, they’ve universally decried the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plans for Russ Avenue as detrimental to one of the town’s most aesthetically significant corridors.