Construction on the Military Cutoff Extension is scheduled to begin in January, with bids taking place in November, paving the way for traffic improvements and future growth.
The Military Cutoff Extension project is preparing a connection for the future Hampstead Bypass, a corridor that when complete will give motorists another option for traveling to and from New Hanover and Pender counties.
Construction on the Military Cutoff Extension will begin just northwest of Market Street, according to N.C. Department of Transportation Project Engineer Kevin Bowen. The cost of construction is estimated at $80 million.
The 4-mile-long project consists of adding infrastructure, including bridges, interchanges and a six-lane divided highway in a “super street” design, from the intersection of Market Street and Military Cutoff Road, northwest through Ogden Park and existing neighborhoods, connecting to the Wilmington Bypass.
The Hampstead Bypass, a separate project from the extension though necessary for the complete corridor into Wilmington, is currently in the design phase for two sections.
Section A of the Hampstead Bypass – connecting the Wilmington Bypass to N.C. 210 – is not funded. That portion of the project is estimated at $100 million.
Section B of the project, which runs from N.C. 210 connecting to U.S. 17 north of Topsail schools, is funded, with construction set for late 2020. The estimated construction cost for Section B is $133 million.
Officials in Pender County and with NCDOT hope to see Section A fully funded in the future.
“We are taking the necessary steps to secure funding for that section of the bypass,” Bowen said.
Pender County Planning Director Kyle Breuer said the bypass will allow connectors that would provide for a better flow of people and goods.
“That [infrastructure] inherently will open up an additional transportation option,” Breuer said. “It will lead to the ability to accommodate future growth and job opportunities having direct access to Wilmington and vice versa.”