The intersection of N.C. 226 and N.C. 226-A, located at the base of the mountain in McDowell County, has in the past presented a logistical challenge for trucks headed to Mitchell County. Truckers trying to follow N.C. 226 sometimes miss the turn and continue on N.C. 226-A, at which point they must use both lanes to navigate a series of tight curves. A project by the N.C. Department of Transportation to realign the intersection of N.C. 226 and N.C. 226-A in McDowell County will improve safety for mining trucks moving goods to and from neighboring Mitchell County, and in turn, support continued economic growth in the rural mountain region. $900,000 in funding for the safety improvements was approved by the Board of Transportation earlier this month. The mining and processing of high grade silica quartz, used as a base component for computer microchips, is one of Mitchell County’s leading industries. Construction on the intersection realignment is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013.