City of Asheville completes Tunnel Road portion of waterline project, just in time for holiday traffic

Tunnel Rd waterline construction photo


A two-block stretch of Tunnel Road is finally free
of construction, just in time for holiday shopping
at Asheville Mall and the surrounding area.


Shortly before Thanksgiving, the contractor working for Asheville Water Resources put the final pavement down on this part of Tunnel Road, roughly between Waffle House, 171 Tunnel Road, to just past Asheville Terrace Apartments, 200 Tunnel Road, up to Buckstone Place.

To residents and businesses in this area we say thank you for your understanding, as crews worked on this stretch of road — mostly in the evening and at night — for 16 months. This involved lane closures, slowing traffic at time. It resulted in a bumpy street too, off and on, jarring travelers.

This $2 million project involved installation of a 30-inch waterline where a 24-inch line was in place. Now they’re both delivering water to our community, enhancing the City of Asheville’s ability to meet customer needs for our growing community.

But it posed some logistical problems along the way, such as:

  • What would be the best route with the least amount of impact to businesses and property owners? 
  • How could Water Resources install this new 30-inch waterline while keeping the existing 24-inch waterline in service?
  • How would we handle all of the traffic issues that come along with Tunnel Road?  

“As Asheville grew over the years, the water demand also increased, causing higher velocity through this single 24-inch waterline,” said Water Resources Director David Melton. 

This waterline supplied water to not only portions of the City of Asheville, but also to Buncombe County in the west and north parts. For that reason, it was important to add capacity with the installation of the 30-inch waterline.

This portion of the waterline project started in July 2018 and was completed in November 2019. Some work is still finishing up on the Kenilworth Road side of the project, alongside of the Star Lanes Bowling Alley across a now unused bridge. This work will continue during the winter months.

Water Resources is an enterprise fund, meaning that money collected from service is used to maintain and sustain  the system. 

This is one project of many Water Resources has identified to improve our water system for quality and reliability. The City has a team of staff that meet on a quarterly basis to review and identify areas that need replacement or upgraded. Water Resources is committed to upgrading sections of our system every year.