NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The sound of chainsaws in New Hanover County ring in more work on the Military Cutoff expansion. Many trees are coming down, and the roadway will bring a lot of noise to a now-quiet park.
Some Ogden residents say they were caught by surprise after a large section of forest was suddenly cleared out.
“We knew they were doing the new road, we just didn’t know it was going to be through Ogden Park,” said Carl Seaholm, who lives nearby.
The project will extend Military Cutoff from Market Street to Interstate 140, running through Ogden Park. Seaholm says he is concerned for wildlife.
“This whole area is full of fireflies,” Seaholm said. “Certain time of season, they’re just around this entire area, and it’s very unique to this park. Many people don’t know that. And now we’re going to have automobiles with bright lights just zipping through the middle of our park.”
NCDOT says construction on the road, which will be elevated above Ogden Park Drive, won’t begin until the second part of 2020. The roughly $135 million project also includes buying out nearly 200 properties along a four mile stretch.
“Just the thought of having this wide of many lanes of cars, I really can’t imagine it,” Seaholm said. “I’m from Los Angeles, California, we moved here to get away from that and now it’s come to literally my backyard.”
The goal is to reduce traffic congestion on market street near the Pender County line.
One Hampstead resident says while he’s disappointed to see the park disturbed, he understands the need.
“More people, more cars, more roads. You know, it’s all part of progress,” the man said.
The project is scheduled to be complete in fall 2022.