New Belgium in Asheville: Changes to Craven, Emma, and Hazel Mill Road


Asheville, here’s the third article in a series exploring the infrastructure changes proposed around New Belgium Brewing’s new east coast brewery and manufacturing plant coming to West Asheville.

There are three areas scheduled for infrastructure change as a result of the brewery moving in: The I-240 interchanges on Haywood Road, the Five Points intersection in the River District, and the Craven/Emma/Hazel Mill area in West Asheville.

Craven Street in West Asheville is the brewery’s new address, and to support it, the city of Asheville proposes that several streets in the area be altered.

While the N.C. DOT is handling infrastructure changes on Haywood (the I-240 interchange and the new stoplight at the end of Haywood), the City of Asheville is managing alternations to Craven Street, Emma Road and Hazel Mill Road (and also changes at Five Points, the WECAN/River Arts District intersection near the Soapy Dog and Clingman Avenue Cafe).

This series seeks to keep residents aware of what’s happening, when, why, and the benefits and drawbacks of changing our roads and neighborhoods.

We also seek to spark community discussion while asking all parties–New Belgium, the N.C. DOT and the City of Asheville–to help us residents understand what’s happening and what these changes mean for us all.

Here’s the scoop on Craven Street, Emma Road and Hazel Mill Road in West Asheville:

WhereWest Asheville near the brewery site. Craven is off of Haywood as it turns toward the RAD, near where the brewery will be constructed. Hazel Mill leads up to the Craven Connector, the ramplike steep road that leads to Earth Fare and Westgate Mall. Emma Road runs parallel to the river to connect with Craven.

What:  The City of Asheville proposes to alter Craven Street with:

  • new sidewalks
  • curbs
  • gutters
  • on-street parking
  • and two bike lanes.

The area near the mouth of Craven at Haywood Road will be slightly realigned to better allow trucks to avoid the steel transmission tower.

If the plan is approved, Craven wouldn’t be the first street in town with this kind of layout. Choctaw Street (connecting South French Broad to McDowell near Mission) is similar: Two lanes of vehicle traffic, sidewalks, bike lanes, and on-street parking.

The city is also installing a greenway on the New Belgium site along the French Broad River that will connect Craven Street to Haywood Road near the Riverlink Bridge.

Low-impact parking lots on Emma Road are also planned. The lots will be public, allowing parking for people who want to walk the proposed greenway.

The city also proposes to realign all three streets (Craven, Hazel Mill, Emma) at their intersection by the brewery site.


When does construction start and end?

Construction is expected to start this summer, but will need to be coordinated with New Belgium’s construction of its facility, and the city has yet to approve the proposals. Dates will firm up after the review of proposals in January, according to according to City of Asheville Director of Public Works Cathy Ball.

What is the cost?  Including the changes at Five Points, the bill for the city of Asheville is $2.4 M. This also includes the greenway, low-impact parking lots, stream restoration, and alterations of Craven, Emma and Hazel Mill (including on-street parking, etc.)

Who’s footing the bill? The city of Asheville, with $700K in grant assistance so far and more being sought, according to Ball.

What does this mean for Asheville?

From Cathy Ball:

“The improvements to Craven are definitely needed for the folks who drive down that road. And stream restoration is an incredible opportunity for us to take an urban stream and remove some of the runoff pollution, improving the water quality. The greenway will let the whole city use it for recreation, exercise and transportation.”


Ashvegas’ series on New Belgium infrastructure changes finishes with our next article, on the proposed changes at Five Points, the five-way intersection in the River Arts District.


Murphy December 7, 2012 - 4:07 pm

And how much will that greenway cost …

Kevin Greene December 7, 2012 - 4:29 pm

“Including the changes at Five Points, the bill for the city of Asheville is $2.4 M. This includes the greenway, low-impact parking lots, stream restoration, and alterations of Craven, Emma and Hazel Mills (including on-street parking, etc.)”

Murphy December 8, 2012 - 1:36 pm

I think this info was added after I posted my question … buts thanks just the same.

Jennifer Saylor December 8, 2012 - 2:13 pm

Murphy, it was there the whole time.

Concerned Citizen December 7, 2012 - 7:42 pm

If you can get folks off their couches and out for some form of exercise in their community, a Greenway really is priceless.

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