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20 New Highway Projects For Division 3

RALEIGH – The N.C. Department of Transportation today unveiled its draft 10-year transportation plan for 2020-2029 at the monthly Board of Transportation meeting in Raleigh. The plan, called the Draft 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), includes 20 new highway projects in Division 3. The division covers Sampson, Duplin, Onslow, Pender, New Hanover and Brunswick.

The department’s 10-year plan is updated every two years. Projects scheduled in the first five years of the plan are considered committed and are not re-evaluated when a new plan is developed, but projects in the final five years of each 10-year plan are prioritized again for consideration in the next plan. The Board of Transportation is expected to consider final approval of the draft plan this summer.

The 20 new highway projects for Division 3 include:

  • Completion of connecting Interstate 40 and 95 by improving N.C. 24 to a four-lane divided highway in Cumberland, Sampson and Duplin Counties, construction starts in 2029;
  • Improvements to West Corbett Avenue between Belgrade-Swansboro Road and Front Street in Onslow County by converting it from a five-lane road into a superstreet; construction starts in 2029;
  • Widen N.C. 211 from two to four lanes in Brunswick County between Midway Road and Sunset Harbor Road, construction starts in 2029;
  • New Route for Cape Fear Crossing, between U.S. 17 in Brunswick County and N.C. 133, and a new bridge over the Cape Fear River, construction starts after 2029; and
  • Convert Gordon Road from a two to four-lane road between Market Street and I-40 in New Hanover County, construction starts in 2029

Projects with schedule adjustments include:

  • Improve Access management to Market Street from CSX Railroad to Cinema Drive; Jacksonville Street to north of College Road, to better coordinate with the Independence Extension Project, construction to start in 2025; and
  • Convert U.S. 17 to a superstreet between Washington Acres Road and Sloop Point Loop Road in Pender County, to provide traffic with an alternate route until Hampstead Bypass is open, project to still let Sept. 2019, but construction to start in 2023.

“These new projects will be a major benefit for locals, as well as those traveling throughout our state,” said Michael Alford, a member of the state Board of Transportation who represents the division. “These projects will improve congestion and promote economic development.”

The draft STIP includes projects across all transportation modes and in all 100 counties in the state. The list includes 1,266 highway projects, 86 aviation, 235 bicycle and pedestrian, six ferry, 23 public transit and 47 rail projects selected on statewide, regional and division levels. The projects were prioritized based on technical data as well as input from local officials and residents.

The draft plan includes about 500 changes in major highway projects from the current STIP. Half of the changes include new road projects. In addition, it includes about 200 projects where a schedule was changed for planning or budgeting needs, and 10 projects whose schedules were accelerated. Another 24 projects on the current STIP didn’t score high enough this time to remain in the new draft plan. A statewide list of these major highway changes can be found on the NCDOT STIP web page.

Projects that did not score high enough in the evaluation process to be funded at the statewide level rolled over to the regional level for consideration. Projects that were not funded at the regional level could still be considered at the division level. This cascading aspect of the process helps ensure that input from local officials and residents plays an important role in prioritizing projects for funding. More information about the STIP and how transportation projects are funded is available on the NCDOT website.

Division 3 will host an in-house week-long public comment opportunity in February or March during normal business hours. It will be a chance for interested residents to review maps and handouts about projects, ask questions of local staff, and submit comments. There will also be an opportunity for residents to submit comments online, with those details being announced later.

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