WILMINGTON — After months of delays the wait is finally over for drivers in the Ogden Area — Torchwood Boulevard has reopened, for now. The road closure was planned as a part of the Military Cutoff Road extension project, which will extend the route all the way to I-140.
“[The] NCDOT opened Torchwood Blvd. temporarily to traffic this past Saturday. I say temporarily because crews will have to close and reopen all routes associated with the project (Torchwood, Lendire/Brittany Lakes/Putnam) throughout the life of the project. We will notify the public when those closures are expected,” North Carolina Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lauren Haviland said.
While Torchwood was closed the NCDOT opened a bypass from Brittany Lakes Drive to Lendire Road, but it appears that newly constructed bypass will once again be closed to traffic.
“With Torchwood Blvd. now open, NCDOT is scheduled to close Brittany Lakes / Lendire to traffic this Friday, weather permitting,” Haviland said.
NCDOT Resident Engineer Alex Stewart offered a quick look at what is in store for the future of the area. The opening of Lendire and Brittany Lakes was not part of the initial plan when the NCDOT was planning the Military Cutoff Extension. Instead, plans were to divert traffic onto White Road and to Gordon Road — but ultimately, it was decided this would not be a good option and the Lendire/Brittany Lakes connection was made.
Other local cut-throughs including Putnam Drive, Torchwood, and Lendire will close periodically while the project is completed, Stewart said, but never all three at one time. Dates for these closures are unknown but adequate notice will be given to drivers before any take place, he said.
As for the future of these intersections, Stewart said all three of the thoroughfares will have direct access to Military Cutoff Road when the extension is finished.
“The intersections of the new Military Cutoff alignment that intersect with Putnam, Lendire/Brittany Lakes, and Torchwood will all be reduced conflict intersections, which are commonly being used to improve safety and traffic flow on a highway,” he said.