By Paul T. Choate
June 8, 2012. It’s the talk of Boone and Blowing Rock. Will this road construction ever end? Well, the short answer is: yes. Some projects sooner than later, but according to Doug Eller, North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Division 11 resident engineer, progress is moving right along.
Paving on 421 in Boone
“We’re in the process of putting down the final inch of pavement,” said Eller, adding that once that is complete, putting down all the final pavement markings can begin after the asphalt is allowed to sit for 14 days. “That should be able to begin somewhere around June 18. It will take a little while to put all the final pavement markings down, but we’re getting close to finishing this one.”
The original contract slated work on 421 to be finished on Dec. 31, 2011, “but there were some plan revisions and additions that prevented them from being able to complete it on that time,” said Eller.
Bridge work on 321 in Boone
Eller said work on the bridge on Highway 321 near Boone Heights Drive is going as scheduled. Work began on April 30, 2012 and the estimated date of completion is tentatively scheduled for June 29, 2012.
Widening of 321 in Blowing Rock
Unfortunately for High Country residents, this project is probably not going to be done for a while. However, blasting has started. There will likely be delays for motorists in Blowing Rock, but the blasting is a sign of steady progress.
“The contractor is beginning to move in and has gotten approval to begin his blasting operation,” said Eller. “We pulled a couple of test blast shots yesterday and those went well. So now, they are free to begin their blasting operation. The public will be able to see a big change.”
For more information and updates, visit www.ncdot.gov or call Doug Eller at 828-265-5088.