PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) -Despite budget restrictions, Pender County leaders say the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s (NCDOT) top priority project for southeastern North Carolina will remain fully funded.
Construction on the long-awaited Hampstead Bypass will start in 2020 as scheduled.
“Nothing has changed for the Hampstead Bypass that we’re aware of. We’ve been told, even here lately, that the Hampstead Bypass ranks as the top project for Division III DOT. So it’s been fully funded. Everything is still on schedule and set to complete by 2025,” said Pender County Board of Commissioners Chairman George Brown.
Some were concerned for the future of the project after the NCDOT recently announced it would not continue planning and design work on the Cape Fear Crossing project due to those budget issues.
NCDOT spending hit the red line last month due to several challenges, including nearly $400 million in hurricane repairs and nearly $300 million in the Map Act settlement.
In order to get back on track, the NCDOT delayed all projects without bonds or grants.
At one point, the Hampstead Bypass was going to be pushed out three years. However, NCDOT was able to move funds in order for the project to start on time.
“To say that it’s needed is an understatement. This is something Pender County has been waiting for for a long time. It is something that our whole region is going to benefit from so this is important to the entire region and it’s going to happen,” Brown said.
Work will begin next year, with an anticipated completion date of 2025.
“The section between Scotts Hill and 210 is supposed to let around 2023, and the section between 210 and 17 should let about 2020 to 2021,” Brown said.