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DOT shows off plans to ease Wilmington-Leland congestion

READ MORE: DOT shows off plans to ease Wilmington-Leland congestion

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Drivers throughout our area have one common gripe: traffic.

The roads between Wilmington and Leland are especially frustrating, but the state has some plans that could make the trip a little easier.

"If there is one accident either way, and if it's on the bridge you might as well have a picnic, because your going to be there for an hour," driver Brenda James said.

But the Department of Transportation has a plan that could ease the congestion.

"The project is to widen the causeway between Leland and Wilmington," NCDOT engineer Jackson Provost said. "One extra lane to give us more capacity. We have about 75,000 to 100,000 cars per day."

The project will also consist of a diverging diamond on NC 133 to make it easier getting on and off US 74/76/17 at Leland. It will also realign Blackwell Road, and when merging onto 74/76/17 from the Battleship North Carolina, there will be a third, free flowing lane.

"We will be widening the bridges over the Brunswick River and Alligator (creek)," Provost said. "One new lane in the median between the two which will increase the capacity."

The news excited travelers we spoke with, but some are concerned with the short term effects of construction.

"It's going to be very much trouble, I mean especially for the people trying to get to work early and stuff," driver Michael McMillian said.

The DOT conceded there will be delays.

"There will be some congestion while we are building the project, but I think in the end it will be a good project when its all said and done," Provost said.

Construction on the $21 million project could starts as soon as 2013.

A public meeting about the project is already underway in the auditorium of the Battleship. DOT representatives will answer questions and take comments until 6:30 p.m. A formal presentation starts at 7 p.m.

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