On Monday, February 20 from 1 to 4 pm, the Working Group of City and NCDOT representatives will be holding its next I-26 Connector meeting at the Land of Sky Metropolitan Planning Organization at 339 New Leicester Hwy. in Suite 140 (in a strip mall behind and ABC store).  THIS MEETING IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND YOU SHOULD PLAN TO ATTEND!!

The “Working Group” is the joint City-NCDOT entity that is negotiating the details for the I-26 Connector project.  City Council member Julie Mayfield has notified a small group that at the February 20 meeting they hope to “see the new visualizations, … hear the results of the traffic simulation (key to the question of # of lanes).” 

The Don’t Wreck Asheville Coalition had formally requested on January 17 that the City put a halt to such meetings until the City has hired a consulting firm to help its representatives better understand the engineering constraints surrounding the building of a major highway to federal design standards.  Thus far, our efforts have been unsuccessful.  The Coalition believes a planning hiatus is necessary because none of the City representatives involved in the Working Group have any expertise in the design and engineering of a highway project of this magnitude.  Because the “Request for Qualifications” or “RFQ” for the consulting firm hasn’t even been released by the City yet, our City representatives are not negotiating with NCDOT from a position of strength that comes with expertise.  The public should be at these meetings to provide our City representatives with the support they need to get tough with NCDOT!!

And now on to some great news!  Less than 24 hours after launching the www.dontwreckasheville.org website, we already have half the funds needed to print up 500 window signs!!  Once that funding is obtained, we will move on to funding the printing of 500 yard signs.  If you’ve not yet visited the website to sign the petition or make a contribution, please do so soon!!

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