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Hampstead residents speak out about plan for bypass ramp

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HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) -- Protestors gathered today to take a stand against a proposed ramp for the Hampstead Byass they say will put an end to a historic pond and the wildlife that lives there.

They are for the bypass, but against the proposed mid-town ramp.

Citizens for the Hampstead Bypass say the ramp would not only get rid of one of Hampstead's most popular restaurants, Saw Mill Grill, it would also eliminate historic Chapel Pond and the habitat both humans and wildlife call home.

"Basically, what you see today will be entirely gone," environmental consultant Andy Wood said. "All of these trees will be pushed aside. The pond will be filled with soil."

Wood says 7,000 years of history will be lost plus dozens of species of wildlife. But animals are not the only ones losing this scenic view.

Frank Farley says he has lived here for 39 years. He says the ramp will destroy this beautiful sanctuary he has worked so hard to protect.

"We wake up every day in our bedroom, open the curtains, look out on the pond," Farley said. "Some mornings you see the fog just rising from the pond, see birds out there. Osprey diving for fish."

But that may soon change.

"If it comes through, the road will be very very close to our property," Farley said. "In fact it will go right through our dock, and so the traffic will be very close to the house and we won't be able to live here anymore."

Protestors say the $30 million ramp is not needed, and they say they did a study to prove it.

Jay McInnis, project engineer for the NCDOT, reiterated the third ramp is necessary, but he did say he would be willing to look at a local traffic study commissioned by the group.

The state is slated to start buying property for the bypass project this year. It's not yet clear when construction would start.

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Here's the map of the

Here's the map of the proposed bypass: http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/US17HampsteadBypass/download/Selected_Alte...

Looking at some of the maps they have of the proposed bypass (if they are insistent on a 3rd interchange) why don't they move the interchange to existing SR 1569 Hoover Road and possibly widen that from the bypass down to US 17 in Hampstead to accommodate any anticipated traffic increases? The road is already there and it would provide additional access from the bypass to downtown Hampstead. There is a pond along that road by Hampstead but if they are already planning on taking out Chapel Pond with the 3rd interchange, I'm sure any environmental impacts can be mitigated.

They are for the bypass

"They are for the bypass" if this was true the bypass would have been built 10 years ago. They want all traffic to come through their town, in the hopes that someone will stop and buy their junk.

I would say to the State, decide the cheapest way to build it and just do it.

But Hampstead is riddled with serious accidents...

...that frequently result in serious injury or death. People want to travel at 70+ mph going through there and refuse to slow down. That's what has prompted a "bypass" in the first place. Now it needs to be a "pick and choose" bypass to satisfy all the whiners that will be inconvenienced by it. You bypass, you lose thru-traffic. You lose thru-traffic, you lose business customers, but you gain the safety you've been screaming about. You aren't going to get both.

Hampstead is a disorganized mish-mash of poorly planned, scattered businesses along Hwy 17 with retirement communities and golf courses off to the side. That's all it will ever be in it's best day, bypass or not. It's a "pass-thru" town.

Hampstead bypass

Please go to the website, www.C4HB.com, and see for yourself! It is not about resistance to the bypass, but the lunacy of a 30 million dollar "exit" off the bypass that empties right into Hampstead. Why is this lunacy? Because it is basically a mile in from the one end of the bypass and two miles in from the other end! If you'd just stay on Highway 17 to get into Hampstead, you'd get there quicker, and save the taxpayers 30 MILLION DOLLARS for a totally unnecessary exit! For those who WANT to bypass Hampstead, the bypass is there for the taking. For those who want to get into Hampstead, then get off the bypass at either end, and drive a whopping one to 2 miles in to the village, which is the distance you'd be traveling anyway, if you took the 30 MILLION DOLLAR exit that would disrupt the flow of local traffic and the lives of those who live here! Lunacy!

where exactly will this

where exactly will this bypass begin and end?

hampstead bypass

and just how many people are going to lose their homes?