Saturday, May 28, 2022

City wants money for intersection improvement, multi-use paths in Bradley Creek area

The handful of projects could be tackled with $3 million, the city says. (Courtesy City of Wilmington)

WILMINGTON — The City of Wilmington is asking its regional planning organization for more than $2 million to undertake a handful of transportation improvement projects.

The resolution, on the agenda of city council’s Jan. 18 meeting, would request $2.4 million from the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO), the entity mandated to guide long-term planning in the lower Cape Fear region. 

With the money the city could proceed on multi-use path projects for Hooker Road and Hinton Avenue, according to the agenda. It also could cover an improvement project planned for the intersection of Wrightsville and Greenville avenues, to include the addition of bike lanes and sidewalks in the vicinity of Triangle Lounge. 

The three projects are all clustered around the Bradley Creek area, and “have been combined for the design and construction phases to expedite their respective project schedules and to realize potential construction cost savings through economies of scale,” according to the agenda.

The Hooker Road path is planned to be about 3,800-feet long, with the Hinton Avenue path planned to be about half that length. 

Wilmington is requesting WMPO supply the funds from the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, a federal money pot established by a 2015 law. The program passes money through state transportation departments into metropolitan planning organizations like WMPO. The projects would require local funds, too, and Wilmington has proposed putting forward $600,000 to cover its end of the costs. 

“The City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee has recommended that the local grant match of $600,000 be covered with unallocated funds from the Kerr Avenue Bike Lane and Sidewalks Project and the Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvements Appropriation,” according to the city council agenda. “The funding amounts from each source are to be $435,617 and $164,383, respectively.”

Last month a committee within WMPO passed a resolution urging N.C. Department of Transportation to include paths for bikers and walkers when it undertakes the Gordon Road widening project. Design is also underway on a “sign preemption” project at 50 locations in New Hanover County — essentially to allow light patterns to be manipulated so that emergency response times can be decreased. 

On Tuesday the city plans to expand its contract with a sidewalk repair contract. The proposed $424,000 change order would bring the total contract to around $1.4 million.

There is a speed limit reduction request on the table, too, and proposed upgrades to law enforcement’s STING center.

Council will meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in city hall; the full agenda is here


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