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Skyway meant to help stop stress is only creating more

READ MORE: Skyway meant to help stop stress is only creating more

LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- Another bridge stretching across the Cape Fear River is an attempt to alleviate stress and unite counties, but the Cape Fear Skyway is just making people cross. Concerned citizens attended a town meeting at Belville Elementary on Saturday morning to hear from Leland Mayor Walter Futch and the Town Council and to voice their opinions about the bridge and the preservation of property in the Skyway Corridor. It's a project the Leland Town Council is strongly against, and one that's dividing their county.

”It has to stop, people. In order to move forward one way or the other, we have to get rid of the hard feelings,” said Councilman Herbert Barnes.

Although Leland Mayor Walter Futch is firm in his stand against the skyway, he said his ultimate goal is to give his citizens the choice.

“If you still want this bridge, and you're willing to take a risk on having to pay for it, you know, we'll stop the fight and go on” said Futch.

The majority of the nearly 200 citizens present at the town meeting were not in favor. They are concerned about their land, the preservation of historical sites and their tax dollars.

Brunswick County resident Tom Becker said it’s “too expensive a tax burden, and too disruptive to the area. There are more efficient and more cost effective ways to improve the traffic.”

Another concerned citizen was sad to say, “The whole thing is politics. It’s the money and the politics.”

Mayor Futch's presentation stressed that the bridge would not ease traffic flow and in the end would cost taxpayers more than it would the citizens who would pay tolls to use it; but Brunswick County Commissioner Bill Sue thinks it's time Brunswick County taxpayers get their share of construction projects.

Mayor Futch and the Leland Town Council continue to propose alternatives to the Skyway Bridge, such as widening the existing causeway to eight lanes or adding an I-140 loop.

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Need to wakeup

No matter where you put this people are not going to be happy. However, the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is old and one day there are going to be problems with it. If you think traffice is bad now, just wait till this happens. Thank goodness I live on the Hosiptal side. Can't even think of how long it would take to get from Leland to NHMH if the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is broken. You would have to get through the traffic jam and then through town. Leland you need to think about that...

Several issues with the Skyway...

1. If the gov't says it will cost $1.1 billion, we all know it will actually cost $2 billion or more. The Turnpike authority says in their publicly available presentation in Oct 2009 that inflation risk very significant.

2. If the gov't says it will take 5 years to build, it will actually take 10 years to build. When was the last time a state DoT project came in on time (see the multiple projects around the state that are late and over budget).

3. The area that those neighborhoods backup to is wetlands area. Where's the environmental activists at?

4. Are people really going to use the skyway at $3.00 per day instead of sitting in traffic for 10 minutes?

5. Will all the people who work downtown (like at PPD) use the skyway which puts them way out of the way versus using the current bridges which takes them directly there?

6. What about expanding the causeway to 3 lanes (with pull of areas on each side) in both directions and building a high rise bridge to replace the Cape Fear memorial bridge? Then traffic never gets interrupted there. That will be a lot less expensive.

7. Bill Sue was against the current location of the bridge a few months ago? Why the change of heart? Could money be involved?

8. One convenient fact left out of reports (again clearly stated as an issue) is the need to toll other sections of the 140 by-pass.

I have a town home in

I have a town home in Independence South. The entrance ramp to this bridge is going to run parallel to my neighborhood and the bridge itself is going to essentially sit in my back yard. With the type of loan I have I won't be able to sell for many years, and who would buy it anyway with the threat of living next to a noisy toll bridge? And no, the state is not going to buy out in my neighborhood, just the neighborhoods it is going to run directly through.

Finish I-140

The priority should be to finish the stretch of I-140/17 Bypass from Hwy 421 (at the Dan Cameron Bridge) to Hwy 74/76 west of Leland. THAT would lessen traffic on the infamous "causeway" quite a bit and give drivers an option when there's a wreck or bridge opening. Instead, they're building the southernmost portion, which won't help much of anybody, because it goes from Hwy 74/76 west of Leland to Hwy 17 near Town Creek. It does nothing to alleviate the real problem... The Skyway will dump more cars into busy Wilmington streets and won't help anyone go AROUND Wilmington. And our grandkids will pay dearly.

Extend I-140

I agree with Dr. Bill Rabon and Mayor Futch why not complete the I-140 bypass rather than build the Skyway? I do drive to/from Brunswick County to I-40 via Hwy 17/I-140 almost daily. It doesn't make sense to drop additional cars onto the already congested streets of Wilmington.

Skyway Snafu

I agree with Guest - I, too, did not know about this town meeting. And I know EXACTLY where both Mayor Futch AND Mayor Saffo are while we're sitting in stop-and-go traffic everyday, and on those days when we have an accident and it's just STOP . . . they're at home, all comfy, no doubt with a cup of coffee & their feet up . . . C'mon out here for a couple of weeks each day between 7:00 - 8:30am, and then again at 3:30 - 5:30pm, THEN we'll talk about the Skyway Bridge. Stop the politics and get to work (do your job) figuring out some of our counties' problem!

Bridge, ports, etc...

Everyone wants jobs, growth and a stronger economy. But when it comes down to the nuts and bolts, everyone is against it.

Keep promoting the area for growth and tourism. Keep packing the people into the area and let the infrastructure fall apart. We'll see what costs money then.

the etc. part...

i don't think we realize that this skyway is going to ruin two neighborhoods (snee farm & stoney creek). its very callous for us to sit back & critique those who complain when they could either lose their home or have a monstrosity literally in their backyard. they have a good point, there's an incredible amount of land in brunswick co. around these neighborhoods, yet there is an insistence on destroying these two neighborhoods. so i agree with the angry residents, this doesn't pass a political sniff test.

Skyway Project

I'm sorry I am a frustrated citizen of Leland who had no idea about a meeting being held on Saturday. When and where was this published for all concerned citizens in Brunswick Co. to voice their opinion?

This article shows that the people who were there and the town officials are only concerned about their land and taxes. Where are they everyday when traffic is backed up on 74, 133, and 17 trying to get into Wilmington? Where are they when there is an accident on the bridge or between the bridge and the 1st Leland exit? Why can't they see we are in the 21st century and one way in and one way out is not working anymore with all the traffic that travels between the two counties on a daily basis especially during rush hours. You travel up I-40 to Raleigh and they are building at least one new road every year and here we are still stuck because of some simple minded self serving officials holding up forward progress for the future of the areas traffic to move more freely.

Skyway Bridge

Just complete I 140. I can't imagine the traffic snafu on Carolina Beach Road/Independence Blvd. with additional traffic from the Skyway Bridge.

Skyway Bridge

I am glad to see someone has some common sense here. The fact we have ONE way between the counties right now is not acceptable. The planning that happened for the roads/highways around here have been a decade or more behind for quite awhile. Wake up people, this area is growing and we need to provide ways to travel back and forth between BC and NHC where we are not gridlocked certain times of the day. Its what normal growing cities do, provide alt routes to help relieve congestion. This in my opinion is also a growing safety concern. Get with the program people, this is a cost of growth, we need this bridge!

Amen Its going tocome to a

Amen Its going tocome to a point were The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is not going tobe able to handle all that traffic. it has already been deemed insufficiate for the amount of traffic it handles every day.the proposed winding of 74 wiil help some but it is just aband aid. We need another bridge. the Cape fear Skyway will make a complete loop of Wilmington therfor e possiblily relieving traffic on colledge road to.

There is ALREADY an alternate route

It's plain and simple. Take the funds for the "Skyway Project" and finish the I-140 loop! That would ease the congestion on the causeway. Don't worry about adding lanes to 74/76. That is a stupid idea! You still have only two lanes into & out of Wilmington over the Memorial bridge, the Thomas Rhodes bridge and the Isabel Holmes bridge. FINISH THE LOOP and be done with it!

There is ALREADY an alternate route

Amen, Old Leland Resident! If they'll finish what they've started with the I-140 loop, we'll have our alternate route. The old bridges for those driving into Wilmington, and the new way to go AROUND Wilmington with no bottlenecks. The Skyway will only dump traffic in the city.

Money from the Skyway "studies" alone would put a huge dent in the bill!