HFR Inc. and the NCDOT Kanuga Road (R-5748) Project Update on project impacts to the Flat Rock Historic District and mitigation requests to the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office

In March of this year, following HFR Board of Directors  approval, HFR  advised the NC State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) that it was our plan to undertake an independent  study, and submit to SHPO,  an evaluation of the NCDOT  Kanuga Road project R-5748 and its impacts to the Flat Rock  Historic District.  This study would also include our proposed mitigations for those historic district impacts.  In conducting this review, we employed Vaughn and Melton as our civil engineering firm and Equinox as a landscape architectural firm.  The purpose of our review was to determine and document what impacts the project will have on the Flat Rock Historic District and in doing so make recommendations to SHPO on the desired outcomes we would seek and request.

In conducting the HFR study our consulting partners worked closely with NCDOT.  This process was to insure we were evaluating the latest project plans and to seek additional information on the project which would assist us in making recommendations.  As our study progressed, and preliminary findings were developed, information was shared with the NCDOT Kanuga Road project team.    The final impact report has already been shared with NCDOT first as a draft and then as a final report.

This report focuses on three major areas – a hydraulics analysis, a structure analysis to any significant structure as determined by the hydraulics analysis and a visual impacts analysis.  It is possible that additional mitigations may be necessary beyond our submitted findings given the current stage of published plans for the Kanuga Road project.   This segment of the Flat Rock Historic District, over one mile along Kanuga Road, is important and project impacts can go well beyond the district’s Kanuga Road boundary.   The free flowing unnamed Mud Creek tributary and Mud Creek itself, are all impacted by this project,   The 180 year old cut stone arch bridge, constructed over the Mud Creek tributary and documented in this report, carried the wagons bringing stone from a Glassy Mountain quarry down Little River Road to the Beaumont House, c1839, construction site.  The Beaumont house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The viewshed impacts along both sides of Kanuga Road are equally as important as the hydraulics analysis.  It is the desire of HFR Inc. that the viewshed mitigation be undertaken in an appropriate way as outlined within our recommendations

This information and the report have been sent to SHPO and it will be their actions which allow for the implementation of the recommended mitigations.   SHPO will conduct a public hearing on this, date not yet announced,  and HFR Inc. will be in attendance.