1000 x 90

In Hopes of Expediting U.S. Widening 321 Project, Group & NCDOT Rep To Meet June 30

As part of the U.S. 321 widening project, this natural rock wall, located across the street from the Green Park Inn, has cost about $1.2 million so far. Photo by Ken Ketchie

Blowing Rock Civic Association Vice President and former N.C. Superior Court Judge Robert M. Burroughs announced that the N.C. Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Mike Holder will meet with association members, community leaders and interested citizens on Tuesday, June 30.

The meeting starts at 11 a.m. and takes place at the Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue Station at 8001 Valley Blvd. in Blowing Rock. The public is urged to attend this important meeting, which association members hope will achieve faster completion of the widening of U.S. 321 through Blowing Rock.

In a letter for the Blowing Rock Civic Association to N.C. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Tata, Judge Burroughs asked for much needed help to get this project completed. Tata immediately asked Holder to travel to Blowing Rock to address this project.

Judge Burrough’s letter was motivated by the Blowing Rock Civic Association’s very grave concerns about the traffic safety hazards, the devastating impact on businesses and the negative effects of extraordinary traffic congestion caused by this seriously delayed project.

These problems are rapidly multiplying with the great increase in town population and visitors as the economically important summer season gets underway. The State of North Carolina announced in December of 2011 that the widening of Highway 321 through Blowing Rock would be completed by October 1, 2015. It now appears that unless the State makes a far greater effort the project could drag on until 2018.

“Further delay of this project can be a financial knockout punch to a number of our fine folks who are struggling to make a living from local businesses that are hard hit by this manmade disaster,” Judge Burroughs said. “Additionally, plans to close off major local streets this summer can lead to tragic accidents, blocking of emergency vehicles, and lengthy traffic jams on overloaded, narrow neighborhood streets. We are already experiencing serious traffic delays due to this project.”

The Blowing Rock Civic Association is composed of more than 200 members who want to preserve and enhance the great qualities of the charming, beautiful, historic Town of Blowing Rock.

The Blowing Rock Civic Association invites and encourages all those who are residents or friends of Blowing Rock to join the association.

“As a former elected official I will tell you that citizen involvement does very significantly influence politicians and government officials,” Burroughs added. “If a number of Blowing Rock citizens and friends, organizations and businesses speak out forcefully on this matter this project completion will be expedited.”

The Blowing Rock Civic Association is pleased to support our town government in urging that immediate extra resources and urgent actions be dedicated to finishing this project safely, quickly and competently.

### Release by Blowing Rock Civic Association