WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – It’s a road with trains, trucks, and traces right into downtown Wilmington. The state department of transportation wants to widen in and showed neighbors tonight their plans for South Front Street.
The road sees local and international traffic with the terminals and now the new luxury South Front development. DOT wants to prepare the road for that growth, but neighbors want to make sure local businesses don’t lose in the name of progress.
“It’s crazy, somedays it takes more than forty minutes to get over the bridge,” said Trish Alletzhauser who lives in Sunset Park.
A crazy commute that drivers in the cape fear have dealt with for decades.
“We’re just trying to keep traffic moving in the city, trying to make it safer, trying to incorporate multi-model transportation, including biking,” said NCDOT project team lead David Leonard.
NCDOT officials want to widen Front Street from the bridge to Burnett Boulevard. Neighbors and business owners had their chance to see and weigh in on the main two options. Both designs juggling with the issue of not only congestion, but the different forms of traffic on the road.
“Traffic is going to be growing you know you’ve got that we really want to work towards improving with the rail,” Leonard said.
One design would simply widen the road fifteen feet a lane, add median and turn lanes along with U turn stops. But it would have to move the train tracks taking more private land. the other option is more industrious.
“So you’re going to have a lot more truck traffic in here than you do now,” said one neighbor at the meeting talking to a NCDOT official.
Plan two would create an overpass from the bridge to Greenfield Street on Front as well as over Burnett Boulevard. Connection to the terminal – Lake Shore Road – and 3rd Street not be as easy.
“I’d really like to see the businesses that are in the area to be protected as best as they can,” said Alletzhauser.
And it’s opinions like that DOT will take into account. They now plan to canvass along S. Front Street and talk to local businesses about their proposed project. It is not set to break ground until 2023. It is estimated to cost more then $11 million.