Drivers who often cross the Cape Fear Memorial Bidge know what a headache it can be. Between congestion and speeding, many drivers are fed up. Traffic officials know it too, and are making plans to do something about it. The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge links New Hanover and Brunswick counties, but getting from one side to the other side can be a waiting game. Ray Fountain lives in Brunswick County and travels over the bridge several times a week. He spoke up about his concerns at Wednesday's Transportation Advisory Committee meeting. "If there's an accident, you're going to be backed up for an hour and half to two hours," he said. Or oftentimes, a race, on the bridge that has a 45 mph speed limit. "They're probably going more like 55 or 60, and a lot of those are big semi-trailer trucks. And of course, if they have to stop, they can't really stop in time,” Fountain added. "One of the things we have heard from the citizens of the community is that they would support a reduction of speed," said Mike Kozosky, of the Transportation Advisory Committee. The committee asked the DOT to study the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, to see if changes need to be made. "First thing we'll do is pull accident history to determine what caused the accidents, if there are any things that could be put in place to prevent those types of accidents," Allen Pope of the North Carolina Department of Transportation said. The DOT's study could also include speed tests, to see if a reduction is necessary. Speed is just part of the problem, as the congestion can be unbearable. "I think we need to build another bridge just south of the Memorial B ridge, at least, six, eight lanes wide," said Fountain. Transportation officials said plans are moving forward with the Cape Fear Skyway Project, which would alleviate traffic on the bridge and in the city. In order to move forward with the Skyway Project, a key piece of land needs to be acquired near Carolina Beach Road and Independence Boulevard. The committee passed a resolution urging the various agencies with a stake in the project to make that happen.
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