WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - More than 100 Cape Fear area projects made the department of transportation’s ten year plan list, including money for the proposed new bridge over the Cape Fear River.
The North Carolina DOT unveiled its final draft of its 2020- 2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) this week. The proposed plan includes 1,700 projects, touching every county in the state.
If the money allocated in the STIP draft is approved by the DOT board in September, this would be the first approved state funds for the Cape Fear Crossing. Federal funds are expected to pay for 80 percent of the project and 20 percent should come from the state.
The controversial project would include a 9.5 mile road and bridge over the river that would improve traffic and freight movement to and from the Port of Wilmington. The bridge would cost nearly a billion dollars and impact neighborhoods on both sides of the river.
According to the list, the DOT has funding down for the project in fiscal year 2028 and 2029, but much of the work remains unfunded and wont happen in the next decade.
Head of the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization Mike Kolzlosky says the project was previously programmed for planning and environmental studies only. The money in the ten year plan, however, has been set aside for right of way acquisition and utilities relocation.
The department’s 10-year transportation plan is updated every two years, the press release from the DOT says. Projects scheduled in the first six years of the plan are considered committed and are not re-evaluated when a new plan is developed. Projects in the final four years of each plan are prioritized again based on technical data and input from local officials and residents.
Also included in the plan are improvements to the Hampstead Bypass in 2020, widening of NC 24 in 2020, an interchange at NC 87 and NC 11 in 2021 and upgrades to US 74 in Columbus County.
You can read the full list on the DOT’s website here.