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Planning & Development News

Sluder Branch Road Closed

The N.C. Department of Transportation closed Sluder Branch Road near Sunview Drive in Buncombe County on October 28 to replace the bridge over Newfound Creek. The road is expected to remain closed to traffic through April 2014.

As a detour, northbound traffic should take Old Leicester Highway, turn right on New Leicester Highway, right on Martin Branch Road (which becomes Short Sluder Branch Road and then Alexander Road), and follow it back to Sluder Branch Road. Southbound traffic should follow the reverse route.

This replacement is part of a $8.1 million express design-build contract awarded to Apple Tuck and Associates of Rutherfordton to replace seven bridges in five western North Carolina counties.

Express design-build allows projects to go from zero to completion in just eight months. This is more efficient than the traditional design-build method for less complex projects that do not require additional right of way. The design-build method allows design, environmental permitting, utility relocation and construction to take place at the same time, under one contract. This method reduces overall construction time, helps the department avoid cost inflation and allows the contractor to make innovations that save taxpayers money, lessen environmental impact and alleviate driving delays for motorists.

Motorists are advised to use caution while traveling in the area. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit or follow NCDOT on Twitter at

Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website; to access it, type “” into the browser of your smartphone. Then, bookmark it to save for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.