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Final Step in the U.S. 421 Widening Project in Boone will begin Monday; Three-Year Project Nearly Over

RALEIGH – Motorists can expect slowdowns on U.S. 421 (East King Street) in Boone starting Monday, May 21, as N.C. Department of Transportation contractor Blythe Development of Charlotte puts down the final layer of pavement and installs permanent pavement markings, weather permitting.

This work is the final step in the widening of U.S. 421 from Hardin Street to N.C. 194 east of downtown Boone that began in July 2009. The contractor will work over the entire Memorial Day weekend. The project is anticipated to be complete by mid-July.

Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the $15.2 million project included widening lanes and realigning intersections to improve traffic flow on U.S. 421 heading east out of Boone toward Wilkes County.

For more information regarding this project, please contact Resident Engineer Doug Eller at (828) 265-5088.

See previous article: 

U.S. 421 Widening Restarts After ASU’s Graduation Ceremonies; Completion Date: ‘End of June to Mid-July’
By Jesse Wood

May 11, 2012. The final inch of asphalt for the widening of U.S. 421 from Hardin Street to Grove Street, which is near New Market Center, will begin being paved after ASU’s graduation ceremonies, according to Ed Treadaway, N.C. Department of Transporation assistant resident engineer.
Commencement for ASU students take place from Friday, May 11, to Sunday, May 13.
Treadaway added that once paving begins,it is likely that the widening won’t be complete until six weeks to two months later.
“My educated guess … is the end of June, [though] it could roll over to mid-July,” Treadaway said.
He said two lanes in each direction will be maintained from Grove Street to N.C. 105, which will eventually be three lanes after the widening project is done. From N.C. 105 to Hardin Street, one lane will be open during paving and will be two lanes after the project is done.
He is unsure what the final cost will be, though he said, “It’s going over for sure.”

Charlotte-based Blythe Development, Inc., began widening 1.1 miles of U.S. 421 to a six-lane divided highway with a raised concrete median in July 2009, and the proposed completion date was originally summer 2011 with a price tag of $15.25 million. Now, N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) officials estimate the project will be completed in spring 2012 with a price in the $16 million range.

Last November, Treadaway said, “Seems like none of the jobs get done on time for one reason or the other,” Ed Treadaway, NCDOT assistant resident engineer, said. “We just run into a lot more things than anticipated. As you go along…[contractors] keep running into things that need repair or didn’t show up on the initial plans.”

The road crew had to stop working this winter because of cold spells or the potential for cold spells. When laying the final inch of asphalt, the crews need temperatures highter than 50 degree.

Now, the crews are waiting, not for warmer temperatures, but less traffic after students leave for the summer.

(Originally posted May 2, 2012.)