The North Carolina Department of Transportation has postponed the selection of a final design alternative for improvements to Needmore Road in Macon County to allow time for the study of additional design concepts. According to the state, approximately 18 months will be needed to complete these additional studies.
Needmore Road is considered a picturesque, gravel road that connects Macon to Swain County along the Little Tennessee River through a 4,500 acre region of preserved game land. The road improvement project has been a source of much controversy since last summer when NCDOT began its public input process.
Originally, five basic alternatives, from alternative A (do nothing) to its preferred alternative E: widening and paving the road to upgrade it to secondary road standards, which would cost more than an estimated $13 million, were given by the NCDOT as possible actions to take on improving the road.