Shuttle trucks leaving the brewery will use Riverside Drive north
New Belgium Brewing will minimize the number of their shuttle trucks traveling Haywood Road in West Asheville, directing outbound shuttle trips traveling from the brewery to their Enka distribution center (DC) to use Riverside Drive north. Inbound shuttle trucks will use Haywood Road, as the turning radius from Riverside Drive onto Craven Street going south does not allow for incoming trucks to use that same route. The brewery is leasing custom trailers that are 12” shorter in height to navigate the railroad trestle bridge on Riverside Drive north of Craven Street, and will continue to use that route as long as it is navigable, or until City roadway improvements get underway in that area. The City of Asheville committed to minor adjustments to the Craven Street and Riverside Drive intersection to enable trucks to navigate the community’s preferred route and help alleviate traffic in that area.
“The community’s collective voice and willingness of neighborhood leaders and City staff to engage in this exploration is what enabled this solution,” says Jay Richardson, New Belgium Asheville General Manager. “The dialogue and engagement around this process and relationships that have developed are what’s important to us.”
The community and New Belgium’s preferred truck route is Craven Street to Riverside Drive, which cannot currently accommodate full sized trucks and trailers. The City’s River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP) will improve overall access to the River Arts District when complete. Over the last 10 months, New Belgium worked with a regionally-based transportation logistics experts to advise on truck routes. The team looked at all routes and considered safety, impacts on the community and planet, and cost.
“We involved a number of partners and found a solution that allows us to decrease our impact on our community and meet our business needs,” said Susanne Hackett, New Belgium Community Relations Specialist. “We feel good about that and are grateful to those partners, including neighborhood leaders who have offered time and energy to this process.”
New Belgium started on-going discussions with neighborhood leaders in summer 2012. In early 2013, the East West Asheville Neighborhood Association circulated a petition and spoke to City Council, expressing support of New Belgium and opposing the use of Haywood Road and Hanover Streets as the primary truck route for the brewery. City Council asked City staff to prioritize the RADTIP improvements north of Craven Street on Riverside Drive, increase the scope of the project to include addressing the trestle clearance, and adopt a budget $220,000 budget amendment to provide multi-modal access from Craven to Beechum’s Curve. New Belgium committed to exploring options to minimize their truck traffic on Haywood Road and committed $50,000 to the multi-modal improvements on Haywood Road.
The shuttle truck trips between the brewery and DC will increase as production increases. The company anticipates about 4 trips or 2 trucks per day at opening, increasing to an average 12 trips or 6 trucks daily by the end of 2016. By 2020, there will be an average of 26 trips per day, between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday. This means, while Riverside is navigable, Haywood Road will see half of those shuttle trips, or about 13 trucks per day at maximum traveling between the brewery and distribution center.
In addition to shuttle trucks, vendor trucks will travel to the brewery. The company will direct some raw material vendor deliveries to the DC. Inbound shuttle trucks from the DC will carry those raw materials to the brewery to minimize some of the vendor trucks delivering directly to the brewery. Other raw materials, including malt, glass, pallets and chemicals will go directly to the brewery. Vendor truck trips are estimated at between 8 and 13 trips per day, or 4 and 6.5 trucks daily Monday through Friday, depending on the season and production. These trips are in addition to shuttle trips. If vendor trucks can navigate Riverside Drive north, the company will work with them to do so.