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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Skyway bridge has been up for debate for years. On days like today, its absence has many commuters scratching their heads.

Traffic patterns between Leland and Wilmington were back to normal Tuesday afternoon, but that was certainly not the case this morning. Two fender benders were enough to back up traffic on US 74/76 for more than an hour causing commuters to sit for miles.

“I was just aggravated,” commuter Matthew Sevier said. “It was uncalled for.”

The traffic is an obvious problem, which caused many to be late to work this morning. So what’s the solution?

“You know, I’m not really sure. I wish I did know the answer to that, and then maybe I could help someone fix it,” commuter Sandy Osborne said.

Sevier says with continued growth in Brunswick County the solution is to offer alternate routes for drivers. He says he does not understand why this is still up for discussion.

“Please look at the growth that’s happened in Brunswick County over the last 10, 20 years and justify to me why there hasn’t been a move made to alleviate the congestion,” he said.

Leland Mayor Walter Futch has been an outspoken opponent to the Skyway project which, many think could help ease the congestion. Futch says the Skyway project is not worth the price, but many feel the bridge would be money well spent.

“I’m sure for the people living in Brunswick County, it would be a tax increase, and nobody’s crazy about a tax increases, but sometimes we have to do what we have to do to help,” Osborne said.

With no funding from the state, it seems the skyway project may have to wait it out, just like the commuters.

We tried to contact Mayor Futch multiple times today to see what he thought about the back up and how to solve the congestion problem. He has not returned our calls.

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6 Comments on "Minor fender benders show traffic problems in Leland"

2015 years 9 months ago

The Skyway bridge will be in the wrong place. Finishing I-140 will get some of the “thru traffic” (i.e. Whiteville or Myrtle Beach) crossing the river farther north… and the causeway across the Brunswick River needs to be upgraded. With just 2 lanes there it is…and always will be…the critical chokepoint and no Skyway bridge will ease that.

2015 years 9 months ago

Several candidates who supported the Skyway bridge DID run against Mayor Futch in the last election. In fact, the bridge was one of the major campaign issues.

You see who is still the Mayor.

Many of us Leland residents agree with Mayor Futch that the Skyway bridge is not the solution to our traffic problems, and that the I140 bypass needs to be completed before we build any more bridges.

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2015 years 9 months ago

The Skyway is a money pit that would be 10 years before construction even started. Quit wasting time on this pipe dream. Finish the I140 project and widen the causeway between Leland and Wilmington. This is not rocket science. Why not just get beyond the bureaucratic and political BS and actually get some work done.

2015 years 9 months ago

Mayor Futch does not have to commute between Leland & Wilmington daily. If he had to fight the traffic daily like many of us do he would not be so opposed to the Skyway Bridge.

I hope that in the next election we have a candidate run against him who will be in favor of the Skyway Bridge so that all of us Leland residents who commute regularly can support them and kick Mayor Futch out of office.

2015 years 9 months ago

I think that’s an unfair supposition. Many of us travel from Brunswick County into New Hanover County every work day and still oppose the Skyway Fantasy. This pet project is nothing more than a distraction…when real, practical and cost-effective measures could be taken far sooner (and no, I’m not talking about the DOT painting solid white lines). Widen the existing causeway. Actually work on and complete an effective section of I-140!

Every single morning, traffic is backed up between LA and the 421 exit ramp. After that, traffic is heavy in both directions but still moving. That’s the bottleneck! In the evenings, if traffic is backed up on 421 all the way to the base of the Holmes bridge, I simply ride through downtown Wilmington and cross the Memorial Bridge.

If WWAY were interested in investigating and reporting news, they would ask why no other viable alternatives are being considered other than the Skyway. It would be nice to know that were tossing a billion or so at a project based on need and not want. Besides, an unfunded project lacking infrstructure that is at least 20 years out wouldn’t really do a great deal for that “fender-bender” would it?

2015 years 9 months ago

Instead of all the talk of the Skyway bridge, why doesn’t everyone concentrate on the projects already in the works like adding lanes between the Leland exit and 421 and finishing the bypass, which by the way, would give you another route over the river. FINISH a project for once.


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