Local traffic may now use Dillsboro Road and Old Home Town Road — which has been paved to connect at both ends — to travel around the construction and back to Haywood Road with minimal delay.
A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation recently completed building a new retaining wall along Dillsboro Road, which allowed the new detour to open. Large vehicles and 18-wheel trucks must still use U.S. 441 and U.S. 23/74 as the detour until construction is complete.
The detour is part of a new value engineering plan which accelerates construction time by at least two years and will allow Haywood Road to reopen with a new bridge in the spring.
The plan was approved by the Town of Dillsboro, which received a cut of the savings, but the Sylva Town Board wrote a letter expressing its strong disapproval of the plan. In the weeks since the road closure, Sylva commissioners have complained of dangerous increases in traffic volume and speed on Savannah Drive and Yellow Bird Branch Road, which many local drivers are using as an unofficial detour around the closures.