DOT improves Cowee Mt. Overlook

NCDOT crews took down a stone wall to expand an overlook area on Cowee Mountain. photo by Brittney Lofthouse

The North Carolina Department of Transportation County Maintenance Division spent last week overhauling the pullout and parking area on Cowee Mountain. 

The area had become a frequent target for vandalism and graffiti as well as excessive trash dumping. To address the issues, the county maintenance DOT workers demolished the stone barrier along the backside of the parking lot and completed grading work that will expand the overlook area. 

“New grass and seeding has been laid and a few select trees have been removed to provide a better view of the mountains,” said David Uchiyama, Communications Director for the Western Region of the Department of Transportation. 

Uchiyama said that the renovations project will expand the overlook area and will improve the visibility of the area, while addressing the concerns of graffiti and trash accumulation behind the deteriorating stone wall. 

In addition to finishing a renovation project on the Cowee Mountain Overlook, the NC DOT began work on the next phase of repairing the road that continues to crack on the Jackson County side of Cowee Mountain. Crews began the grading process this week and will build a new soil nail wall to provide reinforcement while addressing grading concerns. 

Weather permitting,  the DOT will continue to work through the winter months to finish the Cowee Mountain restabilization project which is expected to take 6-9 months to complete. 

Highlands Road work set for Monday

On Monday, Oct. 28, the County Maintenance Department will temporarily close down a portion of the Highlands Road while crews remove a dead tree that is hanging over the road near Jackson Hole.

According to David Uchiyama, Communications Director for the Western Region of the Department of Transportation, crews will be setting up a bucket truck to remove the tree to prevent any damage to state infrastructure or to passing motorists. Uchiyama said an official detour will not be established, but motorists are encouraged to use Buck Creek Road if possible.

“DOT crews will set up flaggers, but all local traffic will be able to travel as usual, with the exception of some delays,” said Uchiyama.

The project is expected to begin shortly after 8 a.m., following the peak morning traffic and will last around two hours.