ASHE COUNTY — The U.S. 221 widening project continues is nearing another checkpoint, five years after it began.

As follows is a breakdown of progress on the U.S. 221 widening project as of Oct. 29, according to NCDOT Division 11 Construction Engineer Trent Beaver:

Sections A and B — starting from the junction of U.S. 421, continuing past Idlewild Road and across South Fork New River — are clustered into one contract worth $46 million, handled since December 2015 by James R. Vannoy & Sons of Jefferson.

Beaver said the pair of sections should be completed by Thanksgiving, Nov. 26.

Section C — past the bridge over South Fork New River to the N.C. 194 junction at Baldwin Road — is contracted for $53 million to Vecellio and Grogan of Beckley, W.V., which began work in February 2017, according to Beaver.

Beaver said the section is nearing completion, but traffic flow should change before then.

“With good weather, the contractor may be able to get traffic in the final four-lane pattern by the end of the year,” Beaver said. “However, it will be the spring before the project is totally complete.”

Section D — from N.C. 194 to the four-way stoplight in West Jefferson — was completed by Vannoy & Sons between March 2015 and January 2019.

The $21.3 million contract price for Section D went over budget by about $1.3 million, Ashe Post & Times previously reported.

Section E — North of the four-way stoplight in West Jefferson to U.S. 221 Business and N.C. 88 in Jefferson — James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction was awarded the contract in the amount of $27.4 million

Beaver said construction on the section is scheduled to begin in the Spring. Completion of the section is expected by late 2024 or early 2025, Beaver said.

Ashe Post & Times will continue to provide updates on the U.S. 221 widening project as they are made available.

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