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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Skyway was supposed to ease congestion between New Hanover and Brunswick counties. But it might never happen after a proposal from state Sen. Bill Rabon.

Years of planning and people getting their hopes up might have been for nothing.

A proposed amendment from Sen. Rabon would remove the project from special standing in state statute and run it through regular competition for state road funding.

New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield says he thinks Rabon is worried politics are playing too big a role in the building process. Barfield, who also serves on the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization board, says the bridge is a big concern for New Hanover and Brunswick counties.

"When you're coming up 74/76, once traffic gets backed up, you're pretty much in gridlock, and it's unfortunate, and I think it's a disadvantage for those folks who live over across the river in Brunswick County," Barfield said.

Barfield says the reality is our community is too large for just two river crossings. He hopes Sen. Rabon has another plan to ease the congestion.

"There's been a lot of work going into looking at how do we cross the Cape Fear," Barfield said. "Matter of fact our Transportation Advisory Committee has put together a work group or a study group to look at different options for crossing the Cape Fear River."

We tried to talk to Sen. Rabon about why he's made this move and what plans he has. He has not returned our calls.

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9 Comments on "Rabon’s proposal could sink Skyway project"

2015 years 9 months ago

Get rid of the Port and the truck traffic won’t be an issue It makes much more sense to move the port downstream to Southport where it has room to grow. As the others said, finish I-140 and most of the traffic problems will disappear

2015 years 9 months ago

Well common sense would tell you to move the entire port operation to Southport and quit wasting the money dredging the Cape fear, only issue is there is only 2 lane roads in and out of Southport in 2 directions, so how are they going to handle the truck traffic?????????

2015 years 9 months ago

It’s not that two crossings aren’t enough. The problem is that both crossings converge into one route once everyone gets across the river.

2015 years 9 months ago

The channel still has to be dredged from Sunny Point through Southport and outwards.
As a Port location we are a terrible site whether the Port is here or at Southport. The approach Channel from Frying Pan shoals is still 24 miles. And you are correct, 2 lane road that’s even further away from I-40 and I-95.


2015 years 9 months ago

What is the obsession with the pie in the sky-way bridge.That is more money than this area has.Finish the outer loop and widen the causeway between Leland and the river to 8 lanes.This will then allow both Barfield and Saffo to drive around in circles and never get stuck in traffic,at far less cost to us all.

Robert Batson
2015 years 9 months ago

Thank you.

2015 years 9 months ago

Amen- finish the I-140 loop / 17 bypass and widen the causeway between Wilmington & Leland. Those 2 improvements will make a HUGE improvement in traffic flow. We can’t afford the skyway.

2015 years 9 months ago

Bill Saffo’s “list” of least-admired people for trying to kill his pet project.

2015 years 9 months ago

I don’t know how I feel about this.
Bill took this project and supposedly made it “equal” to the others.
MY problem is that the Governor’s home city of Charlotte has a project on this list – so did Rabon just kiss up to the Gov to make Charlotte’s project look equal? Was Bill trying to be “fair”? Should Bill have pushed his local project since he represents this area?
The Skyway as depicted (Suspension bridge) is very expensive. The I-140 bridge is certainly more pedestrian in it’s appearance but is cheaper. Supported bridges can go well over 140 feet above water.
Our bridge project just went bye bye IMHO.
But just as importantly someone else’s project will get built at taxpayers expense (with help from tolls etc).
This is one of those love it AND hate it things.

(I do wonder why there’s no super highway between Wilmington and Charlotte? 4 lanes – 70mph, no stops??)



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