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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — State engineers aren’t just considering cars and trucks as they draw plans to widen Interstate 26 in western North Carolina. They’re also looking out for canoes and kayaks.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the state Transportation Department is ensuring people can float in the French Broad River as engineers design a new bridge over the river.

The state will remove bridge supports in the river between the Brevard Road and Long Shoals Road interchanges.

I-26 will be widened from four lanes to eight between I-40 and Airport Road and to six lanes from there south to the U.S. 25 exit in Flat Rock. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 and take about four years.

Spokesman David Uchiyama says DOT will maintain a marked safe corridor for boaters during daylight hours.


Information from: The Asheville Citizen-Times,