Monday, June 17, 2024

Leland to host Cape Fear Crossing talk this week, focus on southern route

The $1 billion new Cape Fear River bridge could cross at a point that includes already developed areas in the Town of Leland, a growing northern Brunswick County community.

The $1 billion new Cape Fear River bridge could cross at a point that includes already developed areas in the Town of Leland, a growing northern Brunswick County community. (Port City Daily graphic/Courtesy North Carolina Department of Transportation)
The $1 billion new Cape Fear River bridge could cross at a point that includes already developed areas in the Town of Leland, a growing northern Brunswick County community. (Port City Daily graphic/Courtesy North Carolina Department of Transportation)

LELAND — Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization is set to deliver a talk on the proposed Cape Fear Crossing bridge project this week in Leland.

As Brunswick County’s fastest-growing northern municipality, the yet-to-be-determined path of the approximately 9.5-mile bridge could have significant impacts on Leland’s community.

Related: Over $10 million spent on new Cape Fear bridge planning, no funding to build yet

A late January WMPO project update includes a projected cost estimate for Cape Fear Crossing at over $1 billion. Earlier North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) estimates for the project range between $950 million to $1 billion. But all estimates are being calculated at this point in the absence of a finalized path.

A fourth bridge into town

Cape Fear Crossing would serve as the fourth bridge connecting Brunswick County to New Hanover County that crosses the Cape Fear River.

The new bridge would alleviate traffic on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, according to NCDOT. It would consist of a new road and bridge, to be installed at a point at a maximum distance of approximately six miles from Cape Fear Memorial, study documents show.

The 50-year-old Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is located 1.7-miles south from the Isabel Holmes Bridge.

The project’s study area includes a majority of Leland’s municipal limits, western Wilmington limits and all of Belville. Multiple pathways have been proposed, with some routes avoiding Leland’s residential areas, while others would cut directly through.

Leland meeting

Mike Kozlovsky, WMPO’s director, will speak about the project at Leland’s Transportation Oversight Committee meeting Thursday. Pat Batleman, Leland’s Mayor Pro-tem, is also Vice Chair of WMPO’s board.

Batleman has previously expressed on social media the need for residents of Leland to speak up if a northern Cape Fear Crossing path is chosen. A northern path could “come right through the heart of Leland,” Batleman wrote in an email Monday.

WMPO has already voted to recommend the selection of the farthest southern routes, Batleman said. (View the routes WMPO is recommending, “MA” and “NA,” below)

Alternatives B, NA, and T would all cross the Cape Fear at the southern tip of Eagle Island and connect to Shipyard Boulevard. Alternatives MA and Q would cross futher south, connecting to Independence Boulevard. Alternative V-AW would be anchored near the current Cape Fear Memorial Bridge on the Brunswick side of the river, and travel diagonally southeast to the Greenfield Lake area. (Port City Daily photo | Courtesy NCDOT)
Alternatives B, NA, and T would all cross the Cape Fear at the southern tip of Eagle Island and connect to Shipyard Boulevard. Alternatives MA and Q would cross futher south, connecting to Independence Boulevard. Alternative V-AW would be anchored near the current Cape Fear Memorial Bridge on the Brunswick side of the river, and travel diagonally southeast to the Greenfield Lake area. (Port City Daily/ Courtesy NCDOT)

Batleman said so far during the scoring process of the project, the project’s estimated economic impact at the Port of Wilmington has ranked as a beneficial component. “The economic growth of the region is a priority,” Batleman said.

WMPO’s presentation on Cape Fear Crossing will take place Thursday at Leland Town Hall at 1:30 p.m.


Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at johanna@localvoicemedia.com

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