NC 88 and NC 194 Improvements


NCDOT Project #: R-5832
Type: Improvements
Project Length: 3.8 miles
Affected Counties: Ashe
Condemning Authority: NCDOT
Estimated Affected Parcels: 80
Estimated Cost: $50,650,000
Right-of-Way Funds: $12,800,000


The NCDOT has plans to update, widen, and repave sections of NC Highway 88 and NC Highway 194 between Smethport and Warrensville. The plan includes roundabouts to replace the intersection of Highway 88 and Highway 194 in Smethport as well as the intersection of Hwy 88, Hwy 194 and Northwest School Road in Warrensville. Two bridges crossing Buffalo Creek– just north of Elliott/Buffalo Road and just south of Stanley Road, would also be replaced.

The plan is to keep the two-lane undivided highway, but add a minimum of 5-foot shoulders, as well as an additional right of way and easements as needed for drainage. This would mean taking land from the parcels along the path of the project, of which there are more than 70.

In summary, NCDOT project #R-5832 includes:

  • Roadway widening, including 5-foot paved shoulders
  • Removal of potential conflict points
  • Replacement of two bridges over Buffalo Creek
  • Installation of two roundabouts at the north and south ends of the project

NCDOT claims that the purpose of the project is to improve safety along the corridor by widening the roadway and removing potential conflict points along NC 88.

Business and Homeowner Concerns

For home, land, and business owners along the project path, this means their properties are shrinking to accommodate the additional roadway and right-of-way. Depending on what NCDOT needs, there is potential for both homeowners and businesses to suffer significant losses to this project.

Homeowners whose residences are close to the road may find traffic uncomfortable close, their entry/exit paths altered, or even have their homes no longer conforming to the county’s setback standards. Businesses may lose valuable parking, have modified entry/exit, or may also suffer from non-conformance with ordinances after the taking.

There may also be construction easements taken that are “temporary,” which may in fact last for years. Property owners should also be extremely vigilant for damage via inverse condemnation.

What to Do if Your Property Is Affected

The NCDOT can take your land, but not your rights. The government will set aside significant funds for right-of-way acquisition over the course of this project, and then do their best not to spend it all. Property owners in the path of the project will receive offers, but if they accept that initial offer, they’re probably leaving money on the table.

You have the right to just compensation. The NCDOT’s initial offer is just the beginning – as long as you do not accept it. Fight for more. Call 1-877-393-4990 or contact us as soon as possible for a complimentary case evaluation.

We do not take an attorney’s fee unless we increase the government’s offer, and our fee only comes from the increased amount – our no fee guarantee. The initial offer is entirely yours regardless of what you do next or what we may be able to obtain. Further, we front the costs of fighting your case and if we’re unable to increase the government’s offer to you, you don’t pay them. We do. That is how confident we are that we can assist you.

Project Maps

Estimated Project Schedule

Right of Way Acquisition – 2024

Start Construction – 2026

End Construction – TBD

Affected Parcels

It is still unclear how many properties and owners will be affected by the NC 88 and NC 194 improvements project in Ashe County, but it is estimated that more than 70 parcels will be affected. The project will include a budget of about $12.8 million for right-of-way takings, but that number may change as plans continue to be developed.

It’s cold comfort for property owners in the path who have no choice but to sell some or all of their property to the government. Whether your property is residential or commercial in nature, it is critical to understand that the government’s initial offer is just that – initial. We do not recommend you accept the initial offer. Since we’ve been in business, we’ve helped our clients get on average more than 3x their initial offer.1

Call us at 1-877-393-4990 or contact us online as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.

Get a free case
evaluation today.

There are only a handful of attorneys in NC who practice eminent domain exclusively, and even fewer with NCDOT experience. We have several. That’s why its worth getting in touch with us for a free case evaluation.

Here’s how it works:

1) Tell us about your situation.

2) We research your property as needed, using DOT maps, our own technology, and experience to see the exact effects.

3) We let you know what we think a fair offer would be. This evaluation is free, and there’s no
pressure or obligation to hire us after.

But please don’t wait to act. Waiting can hurt your case, and the cost is the same: free.

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