State Port Pilot, 12.27.23
Several years ago, political leaders in Brunswick County had an opportunity to choose among several Leland area routes for a new bridge crossing the Cape Fear River. All routes were abandoned following a public outcry from area residents. The negative effect of this decision will be felt for several months, beginning in mid-January when traffic on the current bridge will be reduced to one-direction traffic for maintenance work. Traffic woes involving the state ports in Wilmington will increase in coming years as economic growth explodes in Brunswick County.
Brunswick County politicians (local and state levels) have a second chance to make the right decision regarding a major transportation project—CarolinaBays Parkway Extension. It would connect SC Hwy 31 with US Hwy 17 in Brunswick County.
Representatives from participating towns, cities, and counties met recently with leaders of the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to review the project. Although NCDOT will apply for federal funds, state legislators should approve its share of the funding as soon as possible. South Carolina has already provided appropriate funding.
NCDOT is studying seven different routes, but the Alternative Four Route(Hickman Road) is preferred. Since businesses along the various routes cannot make long-range plans now, local politicians should immediately choose a route.
They have a second chance to do the right thing for citizens of Brunswick County.