CONSTRUCTION IN NORTHERN HENDERSON COUNTY
A lot of new construction, which means jobs for local people, is currently underway in northern Henderson County and more is coming.
Construction is continuing on the new Sierra Nevada Brewery in the Ferncliff Industrial Park on Old Fanning Bridge Road. Tall cranes are visible on the construction site and work has begun on the round-about to help handle traffic and the large trucks that will be associated with the new brewery. Lee Anna Haney at Blue Ridge Community College says the college is accepting job applications at the new brewery and providing training for the new jobs. She says Sierra Nevada has already begun hiring for positions like maintenance, natural resources, and some work station positions…and she expects hiring to increase this spring for other positions, such as hospitality related work, as the brewery gets closer to opening and full operation this summer.
Next door to the Sierra Nevada site, the Asheville Regional Airport is continuing a very large “fill” project which spokeswoman Tina Kinsey says is intended to raise the topography of the land at the airport runways south end. She says that is a joint project with Progress Energy and it is using used coal ash from the nearby Lake Julian power plant for the fill work. She points out that a similar joint “fill” project was done earlier on the upper part of the runway and it was not only successful but it won awards for efficiency and environmental protection. She said the “fill” project will be continuing probably until much later this year, and when complete, can be used for a variety of airport related purposes including possible expansion of the runway.
Also nearby…at the busy intersection of I-26 and Airport Road, NC DOT plans to begin acquiring right-of-ways in March to construct a new “diamond” interchange. NC DOT spokesman Rick Tipton says the new interchange will involve “diverging” lanes and construction on it will likely begin late this summer, possibly in August, and it should take about one year to complete. Tipton said the diverging “diamond” interchange will better handle the growing traffic at that busy intersection, but will save money by making better use of what is there now. It’s estimated that new “diamond” interchange will cost about $6 million.
And on the five lane Highway 280 in Mills River, the all new Ingles Supermarket is expected to be complete and open this spring. At the intersection of Highway 280 and North Mills River Road, the new supermarket will be creating over 30 new jobs for the area and will include a full compliment of Ingles sevices, including a pharmacy and gas station. The supermarket was made possible by an extended water and sewer line along jeffries Road.
The Town of Mills River plans to accept bids this spring for a new and additional walking trail in the Town's new park located on Highway 191 off Town Center Drive. And the Town also expects to construct a new "turn lane", probably this summer, to create better access to the park, library and town hall on Town Center Drive. The turn-lane will be paid for by the Town and with DOT money acquired for the project by State Senator Tom Apodaca and State Representative Chuck McGrady.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman