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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Drivers throughout our area have one common gripe: traffic.

The roads between Wilmington and Leland are especially frustrating, but the state has some plans that could make the trip a little easier.

“If there is one accident either way, and if it’s on the bridge you might as well have a picnic, because your going to be there for an hour,” driver Brenda James said.

But the Department of Transportation has a plan that could ease the congestion.

“The project is to widen the causeway between Leland and Wilmington,” NCDOT engineer Jackson Provost said. “One extra lane to give us more capacity. We have about 75,000 to 100,000 cars per day.”

The project will also consist of a diverging diamond on NC 133 to make it easier getting on and off US 74/76/17 at Leland. It will also realign Blackwell Road, and when merging onto 74/76/17 from the Battleship North Carolina, there will be a third, free flowing lane.

“We will be widening the bridges over the Brunswick River and Alligator (creek),” Provost said. “One new lane in the median between the two which will increase the capacity.”

The news excited travelers we spoke with, but some are concerned with the short term effects of construction.

“It’s going to be very much trouble, I mean especially for the people trying to get to work early and stuff,” driver Michael McMillian said.

The DOT conceded there will be delays.

“There will be some congestion while we are building the project, but I think in the end it will be a good project when its all said and done,” Provost said.

Construction on the $21 million project could starts as soon as 2013.

A public meeting about the project is already underway in the auditorium of the Battleship. DOT representatives will answer questions and take comments until 6:30 p.m. A formal presentation starts at 7 p.m.

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5 Comments on "DOT shows off plans to ease Wilmington-Leland congestion"

2015 years 10 months ago

Here we go. The people in this area can barely drive in a straight line now as it is. We will be seeing some crashes that will rival a Bruce Willis movie with this idea.

2015 years 10 months ago

All the DOT has to do is BUILD the CONNECTOR between Hwy 421 N and Hwy 74/76 and the congestion problem will be GONE!!!! Why, oh why, do they insist on spending needless money on projects that will just cause more problems??? I am a 40 year local resident of Brunswick & New Hanover counties and I travel from Wilmington to Leland and back to Wilmington again twice daily (at 7:45 a.m and again between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.), five days a week. I can’t even begin to count how many hours I have wasted sitting in traffic on Hwy 74/76.

2015 years 10 months ago

Yes, and I am sitting in the same traffic at the same times and it’s just crazy! Before I leave my home, if I hear Leland’s finest going down Village Road, I know I am in trouble! One big issue also though is the way people drive, not so much the roads!

Example 1: Leaving the ramp from Village Road towards town….why do people come to a dead stop on the ramp immediately and try to merge left onto 74/76 instead of going to the end of the ramp and merging? The reason the ramp is so long is to give cars exiting the ramp time to flow into the traffic. BTW, they do the same thing coming off the exit from 421. Like what is the urgency to get into that mess. I personally would rather go as far as I can before merging into a sea of idiots.

Example 2: Why does the traffic come to a complete stop on 74/76 on the straight-aways? It doesn’t make sense! It’s 55mph, so why are we stopping?

Example 3: Coming from Eagle Island home in the afternoon…people who think they deserve to get home faster than the rest of us race in the left lane to the split of the exits for East and West 74/76 and then stop traffic so they can get in ahead of the rest. Let me tell you, I sat in the right lane in traffic on that bridge one time 20 minutes while the “priviledged” raced to the front. When I finally got to the exit, some woman pulled up next to me and said “can you let me in?”. Something struck me that day, and I said “No, I have been sitting here 20 minutes.” She hurled words at me that I haven’t heard in ages, sped ahead, and of course, some dummy let her in. She won. But it felt good. If you drive a company truck or van that has your business information on it and do this, I will never ever patronize your employer’s business. Promise. And there are some that do this every day….I recognize the same vehicles doing this over and over again.

Example 4: Twice there has been some motorcyclist that has “ridden the line” right down the middle of the two lanes of cars going East on 74/76 in the morning. I don’t know who this fool is, but the times I have seen this guy come whizzing by, it freaks me out! Whoever you are, DON’T DO THAT! You are adding to the insanity!

These are just a few examples of the stupidity of what we face every day. I totally agree with the drawing looking like it was drawn by a “drunken monkey” (totally giggled!). Also, Local has the best idea ever! Build connectors from 421! This would not further disrupt the already ridiculous traffic “flow”…the DOT could build it and one day OPEN it! Right on. Until then, make sure you have a bottle of water and other provisions, because Brunswick County is the fastest growing county in NC, and most of us work in Wilmington, so sitting in traffic is just going to get worse and worse.

2015 years 10 months ago

Build a third lane on Eagle Island east bound and west bound from and to the Leland exits/ramps and from 421 on-ramp. How friggin hard is it? Forget that sketch… It looks like a drunk monkey drew it.
..and after you’re finished with that, just destroy the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and start from scratch AFTER the engineers visit Charleston where they know how to build bridges.

2015 years 10 months ago

Let me guess, the engineer was looking through the “Plan Can” for something new to do and found this non-sense. I bet it was dated 1982.

My unsolicted advice (obviously because I have some SENSE) –

1. Finish the 421 connector.

2. Google “Cooper River Bridge”.

3. Build us something that looks like that.

This is going to be nothing but a huge waste of money, time, fuel, etc. Oh, and it’s still 2 years away I wonder if DOT years and dog years the same?


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