At their agenda briefing on Aug. 4, the Wilmington City Council heard a presentation from the NC DOT regarding their proposed Independence Boulevard extension project.
There are currently only two north-south routes connecting Shipyard Boulevard to MLK Parkway at College Road and N. 3rd Street. The NC DOT predicts that by 2035, the demand for north-south travel in the City of Wilmington will be 320,000 vehicles per day, but the capacity is 215,000 vehicles per day. To help manage the increasing north-south traffic demands in the city, the state proposes to extend Independence Boulevard from Randall Parkway to MLK Parkway.
The project would be one of the largest in our area and is estimated to cost $86.1 million. Funding would come from federal funds as well as from the state’s new Strategic Transportation Investments (STI) law. STI is a pool of money allocated to each of the NC DOT’s 14 divisions. Division 3 – which includes New Hanover County – will get $19 million a year for the next 10 years to use on projects covering its six counties. Since transportation needs for Division 3 total about $500 million, the projects must be prioritized. Learn more.
Because of the anticipated future traffic demands in the City of Wilmington, the federal government would not fund an “at grade” project. Therefore, NC DOT engineers are proposing a 1.7-mile, 4-lane raised highway with overpasses at two CSX crossings and interchanges at Market Street and MLK Parkway.
The city is working with the NC DOT to schedule a work session to further discuss this important project.
Watch a video from the NC DOT explaining the Independence Boulevard Extension project
Watch the presentation from the Aug. 4 City Council agenda briefing
View the presentation