SOUTHPORT, NC (WECT) - For more than a decade, Robert Gandy Boulevard has been a 500 foot stretch of road in the City of Southport.
Traffic has always been an issue for those coming in and out of Southport, as drivers encounter the Saw Dust Trail intersection, but that will soon change.
In collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Capital Power, the road has been extended, giving an additional route for drivers.
If you are traveling on Highway 87 coming into Southport you can now take Robert Gandy Boulevard to East Leonard Street which gives drivers direct access to Downtown Southport. The road now extends for more than a mile.
Previously, Southport residents getting onto Highway 133 to go to Wilmington, had two options, but the extension of Robert Gandy Boulevard will give them three. Robert Gandy Boulevard also connects to Howe, Moore and East Leonard Streets, which are all main roads in the area.
Robert Gandy Boulevard was officially open for traffic yesterday.
Capital Power, who donated $1 million for the extension of the road, has trucks that previously passed through a residential area via Jabbertown Road.
Not only will the new road cut down on traffic, it cuts down on the noisiness of 18-wheelers driving through residential areas.
Southport Alderman Todd Corring believes the new road will benefit the residents and visitors of Southport, because there are more ways to go into town.
"This will provide a second access road out of Southport, so the residents in town can take E. Leonard Street and access 133 River Road. to get to Wilmington faster. Right now there's only two options and that's to go out of Howe Street, which is the main road or the local Jabbertown Road" Corring said.
With the 4th of July right around the corner, and an anticipated 50,000 people to celebrate in the City of Southport, this additional route should help alleviate traffic in the near future.