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

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.  This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page Ridge Route corridor introdution The Ridge Route as originally envisioned was a segment of highway which was completed in 1915 between the northern Los Angeles city limit

Establishing the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates

The Federal Highway Aid Act of 1956 brought the Interstate Highway System into existence which would largely be constructed by Federal Highway Administration fund matching.  The Interstate Highway System was deliberately numbered to run opposite the established conventions of the US Route System.  While the Interstate Highway numbering conventions are now well established there was a period during the late 1950s where they were still being finalized.  This blog examines the history of the establishing of the chargeable Interstate Highway route numbers in California.  The above blog cover depicts the Interstate Highway route numbers requested by the Division of Highways in the Los Angeles area during November 1957.  The establishment of the numbering conventions of California's chargeable Interstates The Interstate Highway System was not created in a vacuum by way of the passage of the 1956 Federal Highway Aid Act.  The beginning of the Interstate Highway System can be found in the

California State Route 210 (legacy of California State Route 30)

  California State Route 210 is a forty-mile-long limited access State Highway located in Los Angeles County and San Bernardino County.  California State Route 210 exists as a non-Interstate continuation of Interstate 210 and the Foothill Freeway between California State Route 57 in San Dimas east to Interstate 10 Redlands.  California State Route 210 was previously designated as California State Route 30 until the passage of 1998 Assembly Bill 2388, Chapter 221.  Since 2009 the entirety of what was California State Route 30 has been signed as California State Route 210 upon the completion of the Foothill Freeway extension.  Below westbound California State Route 210 can be seen crossing the Santa Ana River as the blog cover.  California State Route 30 can be seen for the last time on the 2005 Caltrans Map below.  Part 1; the evolution of California State Route 30 into California State Route 210 What was to become California State Route 30 (CA 30) entered the State Highway System duri