Military Cutoff expansion project could open to traffic in September
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Fasten your seatbelts. We’re about to travel more than four miles – through uncharted territory, exploring the new Military Cutoff expansion, a multi-million dollar, multi-year project to improve traffic flow in northern New Hanover County.
“Well, the project length is just over four miles. It’s starting on Military Cutoff just south of Gordon Road and will end once we get to I-140,″ said Project Manager James Zepeda. “Once you hit that, you can head towards 40 or you can head towards Porter’s Neck.”
Drivers in northern New Hanover County have seen it on the horizon for years. Barriers have been blocking the construction at Gordon Road since early 2018.
“It’s all the same project,” said Zepeda. “The new extension and the work being done along Market Street. It’s a lot of traffic, hopefully this will alleviate some of that congestion.”
There are sound barrier walls in place through a few existing neighborhoods that border both sides of the extension project. Those walls were commissioned after a study was done looking at the sound decibels. Some parts of those walls are already marred by graffiti.
“Some of the more offensive stuff has been painted over,” said Zepeda. “Eventually all those walls will have a deep gray stain.”
Those walls also subtly hint at the explosion of growth seen in this county.
“These homes you see beyond the wall were constructed after the project began,” said Zepeda.
Future development along the corridor may require local HOA’s to extend those walls to future neighborhoods.”
“You’ll have an intersection and Putnam, Lendire, Torchwood, and new intersection at Murrayville,” said Zepeda. “A sidewalk and fitness path will run on either side of the extension.”
The hope now for the first traffic to travel this stretch is sometime in September.
Supply chain issues are partially responsible for the delay. Some of the piping and metal poles took six months to come in once the order was placed. Evidence of that can be seen along different stretches of roadway.
“It’s just the beginning,” said Zepeda. “There are future plans. There’s another project currently underway in Hampstead, the Hampstead bypass. There’s another project in another year or so, just north of that that will connect the two projects and be a straight shot to the other side of Hampstead. That could cut the current commute times between Hampstead and Mayfaire by about half.”
To learn more about the NCDOT’s project: click here.
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