The N.C. Department of Transportation reopened a section of Highway 194 near Newland at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 18, more than a month earlier than originally scheduled. The highway, damaged by a mudslide on July 16, has a major economic impact to the area.
“The timing is perfect as we are getting more and more visitors coming to the area from outside the region,” said Avery County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Susan Freeman. “We’re grateful to NCDOT for getting this road open early, as this will provide relief for local businesses that use this road to transport goods.”
Christmas tree growers use Highway 194 as one of their main truck delivery routes. Their peak delivery season begins the first week of November. According to the N.C. Christmas Tree Association, Avery County harvests 12 percent of all North Carolina Christmas trees, and the state is the second largest producer of Christmas trees (7.5 million) behind Oregon (9 million).
To read the complete story, please pick up a copy of your hometown newspaper, The Avery Journal-Times, available at almost 100 locations in Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Spruce Pine and Roan Mountain, Tenn. To subscribe to The Avery Journal-Times, please call (828) 733-0401 or click to https://ssl.jonesmedia.biz/circ/index.php?db=avery.