By Jessica Isaacs
A recent release from the NCDOT has stirred up a little confusion about access to downtown Blowing Rock, but local merchants are speaking out to let folks know that Main Street is NOT closed down.
On Monday, U.S. 321 Business/South Main Street was closed at its intersection with the highway right behind Blowing Rock Furniture Galleries as part of the NCDOT’s ongoing widening project on U.S. 321.
Over the next month, crews will be working to rebuild the intersection there, but visitors need only travel another 0.8 miles on U.S. 321/Valley Blvd. and take a left on Sunset Drive for direct access to Main Street (another 0.4 miles).
Local business owners and professionals say the short detour won’t make shopping on Main Street any less convenient and that it will not interfere with experiences in town.
“The press release went out from the DOT and news media outlets in Charlotte picked it up, and it has been reported that some of them have actually said Main Street in Blowing Rock is closed. Well, that’s not really true,” said Charles Hardin, executive director of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce.
“It is called Main Street there at the Broyhill furniture showroom, but Main Street as we know it is not closed and there are still three other accesses to it than that one,” Hardin said.
If you’re traveling from Boone, Hardin says simply turn onto North Main Street past Chetola Resort.
If you’re traveling from the south through Lenoir, take the aforementioned detour up to Sunset.
If you’re coming from the Blue Ridge Parkway, turn directly on to Main Street from U.S. Highway 221.
“There are still three great ways to get to Main Street — that one is just closed temporarily because of the road construction while they’re putting utilities underground across that intersection,” Hardin said. “It’s going to be going on for a month, we’re told.”
The only folks who may be affected by the closed intersection are those who live in the residential section of South Main Street, Hardin said.
“There is no delay or difficulty in getting to Blowing Rock. In fact, I’ve noticed that the traffic has been better,” he said. “The DOT has better synchronized the signals on the bypass, so back-ups are not there that were there a few weeks ago. Downtown is wide open and the stores are all open.”
So, now you know — Blowing Rock’s Main Street is open for business and nothing’s stopping you from enjoying it!
Hardin said local business owners and chamber members are wrapping up one of the best summers they’ve had in years and are looking forward to the upcoming leaf season, which often carries small businesses through winter in the High Country.
Want to know more about the overall U.S. 321 widening project? Call the NCDOT’s information line at 828-964-3260 or click here to read about it and sign up for email updates.