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Traffic officials discuss Cape Fear Memorial Bridge concerns

READ MORE: Traffic officials discuss Cape Fear Memorial Bridge concerns
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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The problem is our politicians elected to federal offices have not been effective enough in the long run to funnel money to our area in order to handle the growth...any state project will take years.

The 80 year old bridge I use every day is more advanced the CFMB

I use the Ben Franklin (I'm from Wilmington) in Philly for my daily commute. NCDOT should even use this 80 year old structure as a model. It has eight lanes that can be switched for east bound or westbound traffic, two sidewalks and two high speed commuter rail lines on either side. The should build it beside the existing bridge, and go ahead and spend the money and build a turnpike from Myrtle Beach through Wilmington and get rid of the one way streets and traffic lights. No Wilmington is not Philly but a light commuter line to Brunswick county, and a freeway style road would last perhaps for the next 80 years.

Stop the Gateway project and

Stop the Gateway project and acquire the land. Build an adjacent bridge to the Memorial and now you have 2 four lanes in and out of town. One feeds onto Dawson and one feeds off of Wooster. Failure to get this property eliminates any other access point into or out of town except at Independence. There are no other east west roads other than Independnce, Dawson, Wooster, and Market. And there are no connection points across the river to feed into. Build an adjacent bridge and upon completion, restore the existing bridge and then we have 2 four lane bridges. And continue to persue funding for the Skyway because 25-30-40 years down the road we will need both. Without both we will be choking again 30-40 years from now with no options except market street.

One problem with the Trans Officials on the Skyway Project

They assume that people are going to want to pay $1.75 one way instead of driving 3 miles up the road to the free 74/76 route. For commuters, that fee equates to over $700 per year. I, for one, would rather sit in a little traffic than give up that much money. The new bridge is going to be a couple of miles from my house and I will be using the FREEway to go into Wilmington.

Lowering the speed won't help

People will simply ignore the new speed limit. The problem is that there is no room for enforcement. There's no place to sit with a radar or laser, so the people speed like crazy. Invest in a few mounted video cameras to catch speeders, and they'll slow down....

as much as one way streets

as much as one way streets are a pain, why don't they make the cape fear memorial bridge one way, going into wilmington and the isabella holmes bridge one way going out of wilmington. this could be a temporary fix until another bridge is opened up to help alleviate traffic. also what might help is better syncing the stoplights on dawson street so that traffic can continue to flow better once it crosses the bridge. the city of wilmington needs to take the advice of the state and raise the speed limit on dawson street as well.

Dawson Street is not a city

Dawson Street is not a city road -- it's a state highway (Rte 17/74).

The problem is

they made the road congested in Leland and the traffic backs up all the back to New Hanover. They should have never made the traffic 45 mph.

Do none of you realize that

Do none of you realize that there is already another bridge in place. The Isabella Holmes bridge goes over the river as well. If any of you have driven over that in rush hour you will know that to build another bridge it will have to connect to 74/76 since 17 is already such a mess. All of this would mean a big tax increase seeing as how any surplus we ever have is spent on something frivolous.

A real brain surgeon

Yep, there is another bridge that connects with Hwy 17 at the base of the memorial bridge and therein lays the problem. It is called a bottle neck area. Remember when the lumber truck dumped its load there what a nightmare traffic was? The new bridge will not connect there and that will help people that are going farther than Leland. I can only figure your name is what you see when you look in a mirror.

save the money

Save the money on the study and ask the drivers. Don't let a pleasure boat go under the bridge at 5:00 pm in the afternoon. Have times that the bridge will go up for pleasure boats. NOT the height of morning or afternoon traffic . Build another bridge that don't go up and down. More than likely the ones that are doing the study will be the ones that don't drive over the bridges to begin with. So what will they know. SAVE THE MONEY ON THE STUDY AND BUILD A BRIDGE !!!! PERIOD

should wait

"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." But most likely what will happen is they will wait until something happens that completely closes Hwys 17,74,76 (like a sink hole) and then they will think about forming a committee to study the feasibility of planning to start to draw plans. But then the tree hugger crowd will jump in because trees will have to be cut down.

Have developers put up some money toward a new bridge

We need at least 3 lanes in each direction from Wilmington out past Leland exit to the 74/17 split. How about planning for growth since we already have big developments started in Brunswick County that are only going to make the problem worse. They should look at putting a hold on new building permits until the problem can be resolved with traffic. Add a tax to the developers or ask them to help fund a new bridge. They are contributing to the traffic problem.


Yes, lower the sped limit to 5 mph or let's outlaw cars which would eliminate car accidents. Now, seriously, The bridge should be replaced like yesterday and another bridge should already be in place as well. And on these new/replaced bridges the speed limit should be 55 MPH as they will of course be wide, smooth, well lit travel ways.... It is only a joke that "The committee asked the DOT to study the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, to see if changes need to be made." They should have done that in 1950, put the funds aside and have the bridges in place already. Thank me. Now you know. Just send me OUR $$$ you were about to waste on studies instead of bridges.

You said it man. Any bridge

You said it man. Any bridge that has a speed limit less than 55 is obviously outdated. The problem is that the bridge is way too narrow and bumpy. But, I guess we will have to wait for the old bridge to collapse, and then wait for a new one to be built. And of course, have to do without a bridge while the new one is being built. Hah, that might not be a bad thing. Sometimes I think it would be faster to get across the river on a ferry than the memorial bridge.