The Department of Transportation held the second of two meetings Tuesday night. On the agenda? Answering questions from residents, concerned about a future project intended to alleviate congestion on Highway 17. There are seventeen proposed road projects. All seventeen won't happen, but those that do, will be a result of public meetings like the one at Noble Middle School Tuesday. Seventeen seems to be the magic number. The State Department of Transportation is considering seventeen alternatives to improve US 17. One proposal would connect Military Cut Off to the Wilmington bypass. "Everything is in desperate need. Military Cut Off is the one thing they need to work on," Sherrie Taydus a Wilmington Resident said, "They needed that ten years ago." Another would link Hampstead to the Wilmington bypass. The hope is that these options would alleviate traffic back-ups. Milton packard lives in Washington Acres. "I think its a great idea," Packard said, "I think there's one route that i would prefer more than the rest of them because it would take the traffic off 17 and channel it off to the nice new Wilmington bypass. It would make the morning commute to work a lot easier." Residents had the chance to fill out comment sheets. "We've had a lot of questions about how the projects will effect people's properties," Jay McInnis, the project engineer said. "This could give us a lot of noise right here and we might not be able to sell our homes," E.W. Fredrickson, a property owner said. The DOT won't start buying property for the final project until 2012. From here, project engineers will asses resident comments and narrow down the options, but funding is in place. The preferred alternative won't be chosen until spring of 2009.
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