NCDOT looking for feedback on 10-year transportation plan for southeastern North Carolina

NCDOT looking for feedback on 10-year transportation plan for Southeastern North Carolina
Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 1:47 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation is holding several events for people to look at and provide input on planned projects for Brunswick, New Hanover, Pender, Duplin, Onslow and Sampson counties. New roads and extra lanes aim to ease traffic issues but would also destroy the businesses and homes in their paths.

Anytime 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from September 19 to 23, people can visit the NCDOT’s Division 3 Office (5501 Barbados Boulevard, Castle Hayne, NC) to look at the 10-year plan, ask questions and share feedback.

Or, you can find a spreadsheet file with the full 2024-2033 State Transportation Improvement Program here and submit comments online at this page. You can look up the projects on the NCDOT website by using the project code, listed after the project name in parentheses, and the online comment form has a map of the proposed projects as well.

One of the largest projects for New Hanover County is an extension and widening of Independence Blvd to make it reach US-74/Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy (U-4434). It would need about $215 million in funding, $89 million of which will go towards buying the dozens homes and businesses to be demolished to make room for the right of way needed for the extension. Projected construction start is 2028. People studying traffic continue to find that more and bigger roads are rarely able to improve traffic.

But they will make the city less dense and walkable to some extent; more space dedicated to roads means less space dedicated to buildings.

Widening Gordon Road (U-6202) would require $13 million for buying the property to build over and a total of $52 million overall; projected to begin construction by 2024. The Military Cutoff Road Extension (U-4751) needs approximately $79 million for the remainder of its costs, which doesn’t include any more for buying properties. An interchange at Market Street and US-74 (U-4902C) would need $46 million in property acquisitions and a total of $112 million with a projected construction start in 2029.

Though there are a few pedestrian-oriented projects, in total these amount to around $5-6 million in New Hanover County. Funding for bike and pedestrian efforts in Brunswick County amounts to about $4 million.

Speaking of Brunswick County, converting US 17′s intersection with NC 211 into an interchange (U-5932) would need $39 million for right of way acquisitions for a total of $77 million, but it has not yet been allocated funding. Widening NC 211 from Midway Road to NC 87 will need $250 million.

Not yet funded, a I-74 extension from the South Carolina state line to US 17 at NC 130 near Shallotte (R-5876) would cost $129 million to buy properties needed to build over and a grand total of $367 million including other costs. In Pender County, continued work on expanding US-17 makes up two of the most expensive projects (R-3300B and R-3300A).

Note that, while this is the NCDOT’s STIP, funding sources vary by project.