Village of Flat Rock, NC

North Highland Lake Road Project


N. Highland Lake Road project updates

  • Current project cost estimate: $9.971 Million, as of August 4, 2022 (initial project cost-to-NCDOT estimate: $2.62M)
  • Current project schedule: Overall project had a completion date of March 15, 2024, that has been extended by NCDOT to July 24, 2025, due to difficulty in obtaining needed materials and in order to redesign a portion of the water and sewer where field conditions varied from the plans.
  • Current project timeline from NCDOT (subject to change at any time):
    • Road closure began on May 6 for the installation of the King Creek culvert at the Highland Lake dam. N. Highland Lake Road remains open at Spartanburg Highway to Highland Lake Drive. Access to the The Park at Flat Rock remains open. West of Highland Lake Drive, the road is closed to thru-traffic. Culvert installation should take about 3 to 4 months depending on the weather.
    • While the second road closure with detour was to begin Monday, January 29, 2024, with no thru traffic from Greenville Highway, NCDOT has indicated that this timeframe has changed.
    • First road closure with detour began Tuesday, May 30, with no thru traffic from Spartanburg Highway to Greenville Highway. The Park at Flat Rock remained accessible via N. Highland Lake Road from Spartanburg Highway.
    • Any property entrance onto N. Highland Lake Road remains accessible.
    • The current designated detour is to use Spartanburg or Greenville Highway (depending on your direction), cutting across on Shepherd Street. NCDOT has detour signs in place.
    • The current order of construction is to replace the two culverts first before adding shoulders and curb and gutter on the north side:
      • Dye Creek culvert (between Highland Park Road and Highland Lake Drive) to be replaced first as well as extensive work on the road curve
      • King Creek culvert at the dam will be replaced second and the work there will take longer than the Dye Creek culvert replacement
    • Road closure can be a maximum total of 150 days.
    • The original completion date of March 15, 2024, has been extended by NCDOT for 177 days more.
    • NCDOT has notified all emergency services of the road closure and the detour information.
    • NCDOT has sent detour information to map apps, like Waze, Google Maps, etc.
    • General road construction is moving from east to west (Spartanburg Highway to Greenville Highway)—this is a change from the original plan of moving from west to east, due primarily to complications from moving utilities.
    • Construction work started in April 2023.


History of project timeline:

  • April 2023: Construction starts
  • May 18, 2021: Project awarded to Buchanan & Sons Inc. with a $6.7M contract
  • March 19, 2021: Tree removal to begin in order for Duke Energy to relocate utilities
  • Feb 23, 2021: Project let by NCDOT (to let means to open contract bids and award the contract). Update: no contract awarded at this time due to received bids being above the threshold for a Division Let project, and so rejected
  • To begin week of Feb 22, 2021: Initial actions (before actual construction begins):
    • Removal of trees along the road and at Pinecrest Presbyterian Church
    • Relocation of utilities by Duke Energy


Stake markings in the Park at Flat Rock

Park visitors will see NCDOT stakes throughout the park. These stakes are marked as follows:

  • DUE - drainage and utility easement
  • PDE - permanent drainage easement
  • PUE - permanent utility easement
  • ROW - right of way
  • TCE - temporary construction easement
  • TDE - temporary drainage easement

Not all of the stakes mark property that will be taken from the park, but they do show permanent easements and new right-of-way boundaries.

The temporary construction easement is used so that NCDOT can keep large construction equipment and vehicles on site without having them in the work area. While these easements go away once the project is finished, in order to accommodate large machinery during the project, landscaping will be negatively affected.

Project history

  • Dec 12, 2019: The current Flat Rock Village Council voted to request that NCDOT cancel the N. Highland Lake Road project (NCDOT project no. U-5887).
  • Dec 30, 2019: The Village Council officially approved Resolution 219 requesting an end to this project.
  • Jan 23, 2020: Resolution 219 was presented to the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Board, as required, for approval. The MPO did not approve this resolution, so the Village Council was unable to cancel the N. Highland Lake Road project.
  • Mar 12, 2020: The Village Council approved a list of modifications to the project to mitigate some of the impact that the project will incur. These modifications have been accepted by NCDOT.

Flat Rock Council Member Anne Coletta is the council liaison to NCDOT and the MPO as well as other transportation agencies. Please email her at with any questions.


Relevant documents

Most recent NCDOT N. Highland Lake Road project plans, March 11, 2021

Motion outlining modifications to the N. Highland Lake Road project, Mar 12, 2020

Resolution 219, On the North Highland Lake Road NCDOT Project No. U-5887, Dec 30, 2019

Village of Flat Rock Comprehensive Land Use Plan, June 9, 2022