18th Jul2012

NCDOT selects Hampstead Bypass route

by Ken Clarke

PENDER COUNTY – In a press release on Wednesday the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced they have selected a corridor for the proposed Hwy 17 bypass around Hampstead.

The route chosen by the NCDOT is entitled E-H (map) and will extend from the Hwy 17 Wilmington bypass across Sidbury Road, cross Hwy 210 and Hoover Road north of South Topsail Elementary and tie in near Leeward Lane and will follow existing Hwy 17 to Sloop Point Loop Road.

In October the NCDOT held a public hearing on the proposed routes in Hampstead but members of the community at the meeting showed little interest in the routes but rather the interchange from the bypass to Hwy 17 north of Topsail High School. Early proposals of that interchange had the NCDOT blocking south bound traffic on Hwy 17, forcing drivers to take the bypass or two lane side roads east of Hwy 17.

While the route may have been chosen the NCDOT said they are still working on the interchange.

“NCDOT will continue to explore options for providing access to existing U.S. 17 north of Topsail High School from the proposed bypass, in response to citizen concerns” states the release. “These two alternatives will have the least impact to federally protected species and preservation areas and will result in fewer residential and business relocations. In addition, there will be fewer wetland, pond and stream impacts than the other project alternatives. Citizen comments were taken into consideration in the selection of these alternatives.”

Right-of-way acquisition for the Hampstead bypass is scheduled to begin in 2017, with construction scheduled to start in 2020.

“A public meeting will be held for the Hampstead Bypass project at a later date,” states the release.

For more information, contact Project Planning Engineer Kim Gillespie at (919) 707-6023, or by email at klgillespie@ncdot.gov.

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