After more than three years of research and analysis, a group focused on ending wildlife-vehicle collisions in the Pigeon River Gorge has released a report outlining its recommendations for keeping them safe from traffic.
A much-needed, much-lamented bridge replacement project planned for U.S. 74 in Haywood County will be postponed, per a June 10 statement from North Carolina Department of Transportation Division 14 engineer Garrett Higdon.
A bridge replacement project underway in the Pigeon River Gorge will temporarily close a section of Interstate 40, but once completed it will make the highway a safer thoroughfare not only for vehicles, but for wildlife as well.
Sylva Town Manager Paige Dowling presented two options during the town board’s Aug. 26 meeting for funding the $2 million needed to repair landslides on Allen Street, but her ultimate recommendation was that commissioners pass on both and wait for help.
Fixing ongoing landslide issues on Allen Street could cost up to $2 million — an amount equivalent to more than 40% of the town’s current budget — Sylva commissioners learned during a discussion at their Aug. 12 meeting that lasted over an hour.
As Haywood County looks to put the Coronavirus Pandemic squarely in its rear-view mirror, a North Carolina Department of Transportation bridge replacement project smack dab in the center of the county could end up causing a colossal multi-year traffic jam with far-reaching financial implications.
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