by Brian Freskos
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, officials from different sectors of southeastern North Carolina met at City Hall to prioritize the region’s Top 25 transportation projects, including the construction of several new routes, interchanges and upgrades in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties...
After more than a decade of planning, Carolina and Kure beaches earned a big win for the widening of Dow Road—a project that New Hanover County officials say will strengthen an important economic corridor. The project was moved up from No. 24 to No. 4.
The project calls for the construction of improved shoulders along Dow Road, installing three left hand turn lanes for vehicles heading south, and the creation of a multi-use path to run from Carolina Beach State Park to the municipal park in Kure Beach, said Kure Beach Mayor Mac Montgomery.
The mayor was hopeful that this project would relieve some of the traffic congestion caused by the hundreds of thousands of people who visit the Fort Fisher aquarium, recreation area and the historical site as well as the Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry every year.
The Wilmington MPO was required to submit a list of priority projects by Oct. 30 to the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Mike Kozlosky, the MPO executive director said, during an interview Friday. None of the listed projects have funding associated with them.
Since the Top 25 has been approved by the MPO, the local state division will create its own list, and both lists will be submitted to the NCDOT, that will then evaluate the projects based on certain criteria, namely mobility, safety and infrastructure health.
Other top projects include an extension of Independence Boulevard from Randall Parkway to Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway; a Military Cutoff Road Extension from Market Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Parkway; and three median improvements on Market Street.
The complete list of projects:
1. Extend Independence Boulevard from Randall Parkway to the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.
2. Extend Military Cutoff Road by constructing a new route from Market Street/US 17 to I-40/US-17 Bypass.
3. Widen Village Road from Navassa Road to Lanvale Road.
4. Widen and make improvements to Dow Road from Lake Park Boulevard/US-421 to K Avenue.
5. Construct a new route on the Hampstead Bypass from I-140/US 17 Bypass east to a point east of Hampstead—terminating at US Hwy 17 in Pender County.
6. Construct an interchange at Old Fayetteville Road and US 74/76.
7. Upgrade College Road between Murrayville/Gordon Road and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.
8. Construct a Kerr Avenue interchange at Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway.
9. Make median improvements on Market Street from Eastwood Road to Military Cutoff Road.
10. Make median improvements on Market Street from Military Cutoff Road to Porters Neck Road.
11. Construct a northbound lane on College road from Shipyard Boulevard to Wilshire Boulevard.
12. Construct a roundabout at US 117 and NC 133 in Castle Hayne.
13. Widen Castle Hayne Road/NC 133 from Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway to I-140.
14. Widen Gordon Road from College Road/I-40 to Market Street.
15. Widen River Road from the Cape Fear Skyway to US 17/74/76.
16. Construct an extension of Scientific Park Drive into Creekwood and closure of Kornegay Drive.
17. Widen Carolina Beach road from Sanders Road to College Road/NC 132/ Piner Road.
18. Construct a Masonboro Loop Road connection by building a new route from Carolina Beach Road to Piner Road.
19. Construct an interchange at the intersection of Blue Clay Road and the Wilmington Bypass.
20. Relocate River Road south of Shipyard Boulevard.
21. Widen North 23rd Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway to Castle Hayne Road/NC 133.
22. Make Plantation Road improvements by constructing a new route from Military Cutoff Road extension east to Market Street at Porters Neck Road.
23. Construct a new route between Mt. Misery Road and Cedar Hill Road.
24. A Magnolia Drive extension by improving the facility from Mt. Misery Road to Old Mill Road.
25. Construct median improvements on Market Street from Colonial Drive to Kerr Avenue.
Picture courtesy of Dow Road Corridor Study