Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Wilmington Bypass open to traffic

The Wilmington Bypass is set to open by the end of the month according to NCDOT (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY NCDOT)
The Wilmington Bypass is set to open by the end of the month according to NCDOT (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY NCDOT)

Update: The I-140 Wilmington Bypass opened quietly Tuesday after NCDOT told Port City Daily it might be several more days until traffic would be permitted on the road on Monday. The bypass is open in both directions.

WILMINGTON — The final touches on the Wilmington Bypass will likely be completed by the end of the week, but an official opening date is yet to be determined.

The final stretch of roadwork completes the $411 million I-140 project that has been in the works since 2000, according to Communications Officer Brian Rick. The entire I-140 project is nearly 20 miles long and goes from Brunswick County to New Hanover County.

The Wilmington Bypass is “a nearly 8-mile stretch of highway connects to the section that is already open in Brunswick and New Hanover counties,” according to NCDOT.

On Friday, the NCDOT held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the project, even though the road is not officially open, but Rick said it could be open as early as the end of this week.

The Wilmington Bypass project is the final section of a $411 million project 17 years in the making (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY NCDOT)
The Wilmington Bypass project is the final section of a $411 million project 17 years in the making (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY NCDOT)

Chief Engineer Tim Little said, “For the first time, you’ll be able to go around Wilmington instead of having to go straight through downtown. Traffic congestion on the causeway will also be improved.”

Project Facts

  • Four lane divided elevated facility
  • 5 million cubic yards of fill material, 300,000 tons of stone and more than 215,000 tons of asphalt were required for the construction
  • The project includes 19 bridges, two of which are 7,184 feet sections spanning the Cape Fear River
  • Cost: $204 million for the final 8-mile stretch
  • Original completion date was Nov. 1

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