Company worried about Cape Fear Crossing closing its plant

Updated: May. 8, 2019 at 5:08 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A third bridge across the Cape Fear River is in the works and several people and businesses are worried the proposed Cape Fear Crossing will negatively affect them.

Leaders at one of those businesses, the drywall manufacturing company National Gypsum, said they’re worried a few of the possible route options would force them to close their Wilmington plant. The company recently brought dozens of jobs back to Wilmington.

Beth Straeten, the corporate communications director for the company, said in those few options, the bridge on the Wilmington side would land close to, or on top of their plant.

The proposed project is an almost 10-mile path that the North Carolina Department of Transportation said would help traffic flow from Highway 17 and I-140 in Brunswick County, up to U.S. 421 near the Port of Wilmington.

Straeten said they’re working with NCDOT and local leaders to agree on a plan that everyone can benefit from.

”We want to be a part of the solution, and we recognize the need for infrastructure, but at the end of the day, we just want to work together and be with the community and be a part of the thriving community of Wilmington," she said.

More than 700 neighbors attended a DOT meeting in Brunswick County last month. Many there said they think the project would uproot their lives. DOT said it’s looking at options for the path that won’t impact as many people.

National Gypsum leaders plan to meet with Wrightsville Beach leaders later this week to give them a tour of the plant. Straeten said they want local leaders to see in person where the plant is located, and work together towards a solution for the project.

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