Friday, June 14, 2024

Coming soon to Kerr Avenue, more construction? Wilmington set to approve $549k for aesthetics and sidewalks

The NCDOT has been planning an overpass for some time at MLK and Kerr in Wilmington but the city has requested some additional improvements which will require city-funding.

An overpass is planned for Kerr Avenue and MLK Parkway in Wilmington (Port City Daily/Courtesy NCDOT)
An overpass is planned for Kerr Avenue and MLK Parkway in Wilmington. (Port City Daily/Courtesy NCDOT)

WILMINGTON — The current Kerr Avenue project in Wilmington might be coming to a close but drivers can expect to see plenty of more construction on Kerr and Martin Luther King Parkway as the North Carolina Department of Transportation prepares to construct an overpass at the congested intersection.

The project has already been funded by the state but to enhance the aesthetics of the project the City of Wilmington will have to pitch in $549,704.

That money will not only go to beautification efforts but also the addition of sidewalks and bike lanes.

“Per the adopted Wilmington/New Hanover Comprehensive Greenway Plan, the City requested sidewalks and bike lanes within the project limits along Kerr Avenue. In addition, the City desires to incorporate aesthetic enhancements that include light and medium grey stain on the bridge, girders and beam, 2-bar black powder-coated railing, shadowbox bridge parapet, decorative lighting, black powder-coated mast arm signal poles, and light red standard brick design on the noise and retaining walls,” according to council’s agenda for an upcoming meeting.

On Tuesday, City Council will have to approve the spending for the project which is slated to begin construction in 2020.

“In accordance with NCDOT’s policy, the municipality shall participate in the betterment costs for the addition of pedestrian improvements. The Pedestrian Policy guidelines require a 50/50 cost share between the City and NCDOT for these improvements. The estimated cost for the pedestrian improvements is $68,000 with the City’s share in the amount of $34,000. For the aesthetic enhancements, the City shall contribute 100% of the cost for the non-standard items,” City Manager Sterling Cheatham said. “The estimated cost for these aesthetic enhancements is $515,704. Thus, the total cost to the City for the sidewalk and aesthetic enhancements is estimated in the amount of $549,704.”

Since the project has been in the works for some time the city budgeted the funding for the improvements back in the Fiscal Year 2017-2018; the council will just have to approve the spending of that money from the Capital Improvement Program.

The entire project, according to the NCDOT is expected to cost $23.3 million and is just one of several interchange projects planned for the City of Wilmington.

City Council will vote on approving the resolution on Tuesday, it is not yet known when construction for the project will actually begin, nor is it stated when it will be complete.


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