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Wilmington moving forward with pedestrian bridge near UNCW

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council is moving forward with plans to try and make crossing a busy street a lot safer.

Concern from UNCW staff has the city looking at giving pedestrians a path over South College Rd. instead of across it.

"You see people waiting in the medians and along the road, and it's like, 'When are they going to cross?'" pedestrian Anna Simmons said.

Tuesday night city council approved funding toward an elevated walkway over College Rd. near the intersection of Randall Parkway. It's one of the busiest intersections on College.

"I think it'd be a lot safer for everyone to use, because it's such a busy intersection; so many cars, so many lanes," pedestrian Courtney McKeon said.

The city's five-year capital improvement plan includes funding for bicycles and pedestrian projects. The purpose is to identify and fund sidewalk, bike lane, and intersection safety improvements.

"I believe a lot of people don't ride their bikes because it's so dangerous for some of them," Jeremy Schwisow said. "If they aren't confident, then it's hard for people to ride if they think they're going to get hit by a car."

The total estimated cost for the project is about $3 million. The city would have to pay $600,000 to match funds from the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization.

"I think it's kind of necessary for the students since they do live off campus also," Ashley McKenzie said. "I think it would be worth it it would be a lot safer for sure."

City council also discussed a walkway next to the Wrightsville Beach Drawbridge, realigning the intersection of Wrightsville and Greenville Avenues and bicycle and pedestrian paths on Park Ave.

The city's support for the project does not guarantee it will happen. The other towns and cities that are part of the WMPO are also competing for money for their own projects.

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