Highway 221 is primarily a two-lane road that runs over 150 miles connecting Independence, VA to Spartanburg, SC via several cities in NC including Twin Oaks, Jefferson, Boone, Linville Falls, Marion, and Rutherfordton. The NC DOT wants to expand about 20 miles of this two-lane road in the Marion and Rutherford areas and turn it into a road as wide as 7 lanes (a four-lane highway divided by a grassy median as wide as 3 lanes). Please urge the DOT to choose a more efficient, less expensive option. Save our cities and NC residents' tax money.
Using a five-lane highway for the 221 expansion in Marion, instead of the proposed grassy median plan, could help save dozens of homes and several important businesses vital to the local economy.
Rod Birdsong, executive director of the McDowell Chamber of Commerce, said 31 of the 66 businesses to be affected are in and around Marion.
According to County Manager Chuck Abernathy, The Super 8 and the Days Inn could potentially be shut down.
County Commissioner Michael Lavender said, "We need to widen  but at the expense of doing it to these existing businesses is troublesome to me."
City Manager Bob Boyette agrees that there would be "impacts all up and down the corridor." It could affect the new Dollar General store, gas stations and even tourist attractions such as the Lucky Strike Gold and Gem Mine and Thermal City Gold Mine just south of Glenwood.
We can keep Glenwood beautiful, Marion small-town friendly, and widen the roads to make traveling easier and faster simultaneously. Let's protect and save as many homes and businesses as possible.
The DOT is only taking written comments until April 13. Call Jamille Robbins at 919-707-6085 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign the petition!