The NC Department of Transportation is working to widen Highway 321 through Blowing Rock. Improvements include additional through lanes, turning lanes at selected locations, and increasing sight distances by straightening curves to provide a safer road.
The Town of Blowing Rock and NCDOT have been working closely together to minimize effects of the project on travel and the community, and extensive information is available to residents and visitors to our area on the NCDOT website.
Things visitors and travelers should know:
**During daytime closures, access for local traffic will remain open. Detour will take through traffic down Main Street, through downtown Blowing Rock.
**During construction, the contractor will be allowed to temporarily close sections of U.S. 321 for blasting in two separate project areas. Please note that daytime closures are short, with a minor detour. Overnight closures are the only ones that would actually close the area to through traffic in Blowing Rock. Long detours can easily be avoided by refraining from nighttime travel during the occasional closings in Area II.
Areas, closures, and Detours:
Area I will require some daytime closures. The area is from intersection of Hwy 321 Business/Main Street to Tanger Outlets. Regular closings in Area I MAY BE Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The detour for those closures will be on U.S. 321 Business/ Main Street through downtown Blowing Rock..
Area II will require nighttime closures. The area is South of Blowing Rock, between Blackberry Road and the intersection of Hwy 321 Business/Main Street. Closings for Area II MAY BE either Monday or Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. The detour for Area II closures will be N.C. 18 to Wilkesboro to U.S. 421 North to Boone to U.S. 321 to Blowing Rock. Blasting operations on this section will begin after Area I blasting is complete.
**There will be restrictions against closing U.S. 321 for holidays, Appalachian State University home football games, fall foliage weekends and special events occurring in Blowing Rock.
**Permanent digital message signs in Blowing Rock and Lenoir, as well as mobile changeable message signs along the detour route and NCDOT Travel Information Management System (TIMS), will be used to provide road closure information.- Access will be maintained to all homes and businesses during construction.
** The anticipated work schedule will be Monday through Friday, with crews working 10-hour days. If necessary, the work schedule may be expanded to include evenings or weekends.
For more information about the project, please contact Doug Eller, NCDOT Assistant Resident Engineer, at (828) 964-3260.