HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Department of Transportation held a meeting Thursday night to get input on a revised and preliminary plan for the proposed bypass of U.S. 17 around Hampstead.
The newest plan adds an interchange to the original plan that had two. And, with that add, came new complaints.
But, project engineers said they’re just trying to provide as much access to the bypass as possible.
After years of planning the proposed U.S. 17 Hampstead bypass, NCDOT engineers at the meeting said people still don’t agree on the plan.
“The question is where to put it and how’s it going to affect my property,” said Jay McInnis, a project engineer.
In 2011, the plan was for just two interchanges, one south on Highway 210 and the other through town. Now, project engineers want to add a third interchange north of Topsail schools.
“Right now, we’re looking at ways we can provide access … because of the amount of traffic that would use the northern-most interchange,” McInnis said.
But, some Hampstead residents like Michael Nadeau and Joseph Decicco said they don’t think there is enough traffic through Hampstead to warrant three interchanges.
“I’ve come to question the need for three interchanges for our small town instead of two,” Nadeau said.
“I don’t know where they got their numbers but it’s wrong. It should be re-done,” Decicco said.
And, moved altogether according to Decicco.
“Why bring people into Hampstead when they don’t want to drive slow at 45 miles an hour. Bring it up north where you have a 55 zone and let’s do it,” Decicco said.
Project engineers said they will hold a design public hearing in the spring or summer of 2014 to give another update on the Hampstead bypass. Construction is scheduled for 2021.