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Tunnel will be considered for new Cape Fear crossing

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By Adam Wagner
adam.wagner@starnewsonline.com

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNewsOnline.com) -- A meeting meant to kickstart the building of another crossing of the Cape Fear River between Brunswick County and Wilmington put the option of a tunnel on the table while showcasing local officials’ wariness of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

About 25 citizens attended the NCDOT officials’ presentation and the question and answer session that followed in Wilmington City Hall on Monday morning.

A tunnel built between Independence Boulevard in Wilmington and southern Brunswick County would cost $88 million more than a bridge while likely costing a similar amount to maintain, said Bobby Lewis, NC DOT’s chief of staff. A tunnel near the existing Cape Fear Memorial Bridge isn’t as feasible because the river is narrow enough there that it would emerge around 12th Street in Wilmington, forcing the city to upgrade several roads in the area.

Click here to read more in the Backseat Driver blog at StarNewsOnline.com

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HUMM THIS SOUNDS COOL, BUT

HUMM THIS SOUNDS COOL, BUT HOW WILL WE EVACUATE DURING A HURRICANE IF THE TUNNEL SHOULD FLOOD?

Tunnels don't typically flood...

There are several tunnels to look at as an example...Chunnel (under the English Channel) Chesapeake Bay Bridge (tunnel section is 13 miles, I think), Bay Area Rapid Transit (underneach San Francisco Bay) and on and on....

This is doable. The main issue concerning flooding would be at the entrance/exit points. Hurricane would not be a major concern if properly engineered.

WEREN'T SOME OF THE TUNNELS

WEREN'T SOME OF THE TUNNELS AND SUBWAYS IN NEW YORK CLOSED DURING AND AFTER SANDY? AND IT WASN'T EVEN A HURRICANE. THIS IS A MUCH, MUCH SMALLER AREA THAN NEW YORK. GET REAL PEOPLE. I'LL DRIVE NORTH TO THE BRIDGE BEFORE GOING THRU THE TUNNEL. YOU'R WELCOME TO IT. OR MAYBE I'LL EVEN CROSS OVER ON THE FERRY TO SOUTHPORT AND GO OUT THAT WAY. SF BAY DOESN'T HAVE HURRICANES. DOES IT? THIS IS A VERY LOW LYING AREA. WE ARE BETWEEN THE OCEAN AND THE RIVER, AND THERE ISN'T MUCH LAND IN BETWEEN.

When a tunnel is built, the

When a tunnel is built, the portals are higher thus reducing the chance of massive high tides flooding it.
Nothing is safe proof. However, if a tunnel there was flooded, the swampy land that the main road is built on will also be flooded too, so even a bridge to a moat-like roadway wouldn't help.

When the weather calls for a hurricane and people are asked to leave, it is far BEFORE the hurricane gets here.

The bridge/tunnel should exit the Wilmington side at Shipyard Road for many reasons:

Shipyard road is already three lanes and can hold the traffic easier than Independence.
Shipyard has all the trucks there, and can go directly across the bridge heading west, vs still taking a lot of city streets.
Distance across the river is shorter there and would use a shorter bridge.

We really could just replace the existing bridge downtown with a beautiful bridge like in Charleston.
Make it four lanes each direction for future use.

Cape Fear Memorial Bridge

I told them best thing is to build a tunnel. Just saying may not be over all ideal for everyone. I just think the only way to do this. For boats to keep going thru not bothering a bridge or anything.

WHO COMES UP WITH THESE

WHO COMES UP WITH THESE STUPID IDEAS? 88 MILLION MORE? 4 LANE THE PRESENT CAPE FEAR MEM. BRIDGE, OR DOESN'T THAT COST ENOUGH TO FLEECE THE TAX PAYERS .? DO PEOPLE STAY AWAKE ALL NITE THINKING UP ALL OF THESE THINGS?