Interstate Highway 40 Widening

Interstate 40 Aerial

Interstate Highway 40 Widening

The most congested interchange in Asheville, North Carolina, needed a redesign. The section of Interstate Highway 40 between N.C. Highway 1224 (Monte Vista Road) and the Interstate Highway 240/Interstate Highway 26 interchange experienced extreme daily congestion. It prompted North Carolina Department of Transportation to hire the design-build team of HDR | ICA and Taylor & Murphy Construction Co. to correct the capacity issues.

As our team brainstormed the design, we first considered that there were two types of motorists contributing to the congestion:

  1. Local motorists coming from Smokey Park Highway, which connects I-40 to the local high-density population in the surrounding area. 
  2. Interstate drivers passing through for commerce and travel.

Our goal was to improve traffic flow and operational functions. We designed improvements along the I-40 corridor, including replacement of four bridges. We constructed auxiliary lanes and structures to improve the safety and mobility for I-40 motorists.

Widening Smokey Park Highway relieved congestion for local residents and improved access to nearby businesses.

Clearance for roadways became an issue when the lengthened overpass structures required a deeper beam. This required our engineers to raise the grade of I-40 over Smokey Park Highway to meet a 17-foot-clearance requirement. To accommodate construction of the raised grade, we developed a sophisticated traffic-control scheme focused on phased construction of the bridges and staged construction.

A key feature of the project consisted of a series of custom noise walls with patterns of foliage throughout the façade. This aesthetic design captured the beauty of the mountains and the persona of Asheville.

Interstate 40 Aerial
North Carolina Department of Transportation

Asheville , NC
United States