Re: Russ Avenue Project – 23/74 Bridge Project 

April 5th update:


March 18th update: Detour Map


March 11th update:

A contractor for the N.C. Department of Transportation is getting right to work on one of the busiest roads in Haywood County.The end results will improve Russ Avenue from U.S. 74 to Main Street. The temporary impacts begin immediately. Russ Avenue (U.S. 276) will be placed into a two-lane pattern from the intersection with Howell Mill and Dellwood City Road — across the bridge over Richland Creek and the bridge over a railroad — to Walnut Street starting Tuesday. The new pattern will place all traffic into one lane in each direction between these two points until bridge replacements are complete. Access to all businesses will remain open during construction. The lane restrictions will allow crews from Buchanan & Sons and a subcontractor to remove one half of the bridge over Richland Creek before the end of March, then switch to removing one half of the bridge over the railroad. The remaining sections will carry one lane of traffic until the new halves are built which allows drivers to travel the entire length of Russ Avenue. Crews will utilize the lane restrictions to accomplish additional tasks in preparation for operations outside of bridge construction. “There will be fewer lanes, but nothing will be completely closed,” Resident Engineer Max Buchanan said. “Crews are getting right to work in order to work within guidelines established to help protect native animals and their habitat.” 

The $42. 8 million project contains three significant segments:

•    From North Main Street to Boundary Street: This section includes building two lanes with a posted speed limit of 20 mph and improving sidewalk safety and accessibility.

•    From Boundary Street to Walnut Street: This section includes building three lanes — two southbound and one northbound — with a posted speed limit of 20 mph, plus sidewalks and shared bike lanes in both directions. 

•    From Walnut Street to Phillips Road: This section includes building four lanes divided by a 17.5-foot median with a posted speed limit of 35 mph, plus sidewalks and bike lanes. It also includes replacing the bridge over Southern Railroad and the bridge over Richland Creek,plus improving the ramps to and from U.S. 23/74.


March 8, 2024:

There are two upcoming NCDOT projects that will be affecting the Town of Waynesville and will be ongoing at the same time.  These two projects are the Russ Avenue Widening project and the US 23/74 bridge replacement project. We will see movement on the Russ Avenue project as soon as Monday night, March 11, 2024. This work will include the lane narrowing of the two Russ Avenue bridges. This narrowing will reduce the travel lanes across the bridges to two lanes. During the initial stages, the NCDOT contractor will also be clearing trees that are in the project right-of-way. The contractor stated that once the crews were mobilized, they will not be pulled from the project to complete any work elsewhere.

NCDOT will be performing lane narrowing and lane drops that will extend from Walnut Street down to the intersection of Russ, Dellwood, and Howell Mill Roads. This work is expected to begin on the evening of March 11 2024. In three weeks, the intersection of Russ Avenue and Walnut Street will transition to being completely closed as the contractor will begin working on the replacement of the Russ Avenue railroad bridge. This intersection will stay closed for the remainder of the year or until the bridge is completed.

NCDOT contractors will begin work on the US 23/74 bridge construction by mid-March 2024 with a projected completion date of March 29, 2028.