Construction operations are underway again on the U.S. 321
widening project in Blowing Rock. New prime contractor Maymead Inc. of Mountain City, Tenn. will
resume rock blasting near Little Springs Road at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 29, weather permitting,
which will temporarily halt traffic. The small blast is part of the retaining wall construction
along this section of U.S. 321.
The road temporarily will be blocked by flaggers
southbound near the intersection of U.S. 321 and U.S. 321 Business/U.S. 221 when Monday’s blast
occurs. Northbound traffic will be stopped near the intersection with Sunset Drive. The road will
re-open after the blast ends, which is expected to take about 10 minutes.
necessary, motorists will see sections of U.S. 321 closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to
3 p.m., for blasting and clean-up. Local and through vehicle traffic will be able to get around the
blasting area through downtown Blowing Rock on U.S. 221; however, trucks three axles or more will
not have access to downtown as an alternate route. Northbound trucks will be routed to N.C. 18 in
Lenoir to U.S. 421 in North Wilkesboro west to Boone, while southbound traffic will reverse
Crews have been filling the area across from Rocky Knob Road for the
proposed northbound lanes, as well as working on erosion control throughout the project. Retaining
wall construction will continue near the Food Lion on Little Springs Road.
Maymead Inc. replaced Taylor & Murphy of Asheville as the prime contractor on the project. It
was one of the original bidders on the project in 2011 and was already the largest subcontractor on
it. A new subcontractor, Vecellio & Grogan Inc. of Beckley, W.Va., was hired to support rock
blasting and grading work.
The contractor transition, as well as poor weather this
winter, slowed work on the project. Because of this, the scheduled completion date was revised from
the fall of 2015 to June 30, 2016.
Project updates are provided via the N.C. Department
of Transportation project website (http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/BlowingRock321/),
traditional media and
social media. Daily information is provided via Twitter (see @NCDOT_EastMTN and #US321), or call the
project hotline at (828) 964-3260 to speak to an NCDOT representative during regular weekday
business hours (8 a.m. until 5 p.m.).
For information regarding the contractor
operations, call the Maymead Inc. hotline at (423) 727-2011.