Skip to main content

Cape Fear Skyway at a crossroads

The proposed Cape Fear Skyway is at a crossroads as elected leaders in both Brunswick and New Hanover Counties debate on which is their preferred choice for the highway and bridge.

At a recent meeting between the North Carolina Turnpike Authority and the Wilmington Area Transportation Advisory Committee, various leaders voiced their opinions on what route the proposed toll road should follow.

Brunswick County Commissioner Bill Sue prefers a more northern route that avoids the Snee Farm and Stoney Creek communities. He views the northern route as the first proposal that avoids "...really high-priced land that represents some potentially good tax base."

However, the northern route doesn't sit well with the mayor of Leland, Walter Futch. The proposed northern route would cut through the heart of his town.

“It separates our town,” he said.

Futch would like to state to spend some of that money on widening US 74/76 through town and to the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

Options for where the Skyway can go in Brunswick County are dwindling as new developments in the county are built.

The debate on the Brunswick County alignment of the Skyway has impact on where the bridge lands in New Hanover County. The Skyway is supposed to tie into Carolina Beach Road near Independence Boulevard. But until a path is determined in Brunswick County, a final alignment in New Hanover can't be determined.

Story Links:
Cape Fear Skyway's future hinges on Wednesday's meeting ---Wilmington Star-News
Proposed Skyway Bridge still has twisted path to follow ---Wilmington Star-News

Commentary:

The Star-News followed up with an editorial urging Brunswick County officials to come together to support any alignment for the bridge. They point out to the number of reasons why the bridge needs built. First and foremost, the aging and overworked Cape Fear Memorial Bridge.

The Cape Fear Memorial is over 40 years old and serves well over capacity. It's been closed numerous times for safety concerns, and is a choke point in Wilmington's highway system. This is why US 17 and US 74 have already been routed away from downtown. US 74 now runs along MLK Blvd. to the north as a downtown bypass and direct access to the airport. US 17 runs further north along the incomplete I-140 Wilmington Bypass.

In addition, truck traffic to and from the Port of Wilmington uses this bridge adding to the congestion downtown and around the bridge.

The Skyway - even with tolls - would improve traffic flow around and between Brunswick County and Wilmington (New Hanover County). The Cape Fear Memorial is the last vehicle bridge from Wilmington to the Atlantic - save for the Fort Fisher to Southport Ferry. the Skyway obviously would improve travel times between the two areas but also allow for greater access to the Port of Wilmington - something the state and all of Southeastern NC has benefited from.

The Skyway would also allow traffic going to Carolina or Kure Beach a bypass around Wilmington - specifically the commercialized College Road corridor. This obviously would be a benefit in hurricane evacuation as well.

The Brunswick County officials need to work together and come up with an agreed upon corridor that will allow construction of the Skyway to begin sooner, not later.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Former California State Route 198 at the bottom of Lake Kaweah

East of Lemon Cove of Tulare County one can find several old alignments of California State Route 198 at the bottom of the Lake Kaweah Reservoir.  In particularly dry years these early alignments of California State Route 198 can be accessed as hiking trails.   Part 1; a brief history of California State Route 198 in the Lake Kaweah Reservoir The current corridor of California State Route 198 ("CA 198") in Lake Kaweah has a lengthy history.  The present corridor around Lake Kaweah first became a popular route of travel for European settlers during the mining boom of Mineral King Valley.   Through the 1860s prospectors arrived in Mineral King Valley by way of the Kaweah River and East Fork Kaweah River.  In 1870 John Lovelace and his family built a stock trail up to what was known as Milk Ranch on the East Fork Kaweah River.  The Lovelace extended their trail all the way up to Mineral King Valley and the prospector camp sites.  In 1871 the stock trail was greatly improved

New River Gorge National River Area To Become A National Park

Great news for those that enjoy National Parks, West Virginia's New River Gorge Region, or West Virginia tourism.  Included within the Fiscal Year 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed by President Trump last night (December 27th) is the New River Gorge Park and Preserve Designation Act.   The act will designate the existing New River National River and over 72,000 acres of land within it as a National Park and Preserve. The New River Gorge Bridge will continue to be the centerpiece of the new New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. (Adam Prince, 2007) The river and surrounding land, which was added to the National Park System in 1978, will be our 63rd National Park.   The designation preserves over 7,000 acres as a National Park.  This area will not allow any hunting.  The remaining 65,000 acres of the existing park will be designated as a preserve allowing hunting and fishing. The main attractions to the New River Gorge - whitewater rafting, camping, hiking, mountain bikin

Legend of the Ridge Route; a history of crossing the mountains between the Los Angeles Basin and San Joaquin Valley from wagon trails to Interstates

Over the past two decades I've crossed the Interstate 5 corridor from Los Angeles north over the Sierra Pelona Mountains and Tehachapi Range to San Joaquin Valley what seems to be an immeasurable number of times.  While Interstate 5 from Castaic Junction to Grapevine via Tejon Pass today is known to most as "The Grapevine" it occupies a corridor which has been traversed by numerous historic highways.  The most notable of these highways is known as the "Ridge Route."  This article is dedicated to the Ridge Route and the various highways that preceded it.  The Ridge Route is a 44 mile section of highway which was completed in 1915.  The Ridge Route originally stretched from Castaic Junction north over Liebre Summit and Tejon Pass to the tiny community of Grapevine.  In spite of a roadway that once utilized nearly 700 curves the Ridge Route is generally considered far ahead of it's time and one of the first modern highways in California constructed for auto