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Saturday, May 18, 2024

No. 5 Most Read Story of the Year: New interstate extending to Wilmington?

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Highway 421 is already heavily traveled in the greater Wilmington area, providing a pathway for shipping and trucking industries to reach the central areas of the state.

However, transportation officials are considering its transformation into Interstate 685. Highway 421, currently 85 miles, ends in Fort Fisher. If it were enveloped into I-685, the road would encompass just over 200 miles.

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The intestate would start near Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point and run to I-95 in Dunn, near Fayetteville and into Wilmington.

In mid-June, the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization’s technical coordinating committee unanimously approved a resolution for the North Carolina Department of Transportation to explore I-685’s extension into Wilmington. It would require drumming up support from other transportation planning organizations.

Seven counties in I-685’s path already have passed resolutions in support, including Harnett, Chatham, Alamance, Randolph, Lee, Sanford and Guilford. 

“In addition, we would work with our local economic development partners and others in the area to seek their interest and support for this effort,” WMPO Director Mike Kozlosky explained to Port City Daily over the summer.

Kozlosky also said it would improve as a hurricane evacuation route for the region, primarily dependent upon I-74 and I-40.

Here is a look back at the story:

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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