Local officials announced Thursday that $113 million has been secured for the Hampstead Bypass.
The $113 million in funding means the Hampstead Bypass project is fully funded, according to the announcement.
“While the design of both sections is in its final stages and land acquisition is well underway, this clears the path to allow construction to [begin] in 2020 with completion coming in 2025,” Pender County Commissioner David Piepmeyer said in a news release.
The Hampstead Bypass is 13-miles of a four-lane divided highway.
“The Hampstead Bypass along with the safety improvements on Business U.S. 17 will alleviate pressure and help prevent crashes along almost all of the U.S. 17 corridor in Pender County,” said David Williams, a Pender County commissioner who previously served on the WMPO. “Safety has always been our driver on this project.”
Pender County and the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (WMPO) worked with NCDOT to prioritize the Hampstead Bypass and get it fully funded in the draft 2020-29 state transportation improvement program that will be released in early 2019, said Mike Kozlosky, WMPO's executive director.
NCDOT last week released what projects would be funded under that draft.
The project is split into two sections. Section A of the bypass connects Interstate 140 to N.C. 210, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation. Section B links N.C. 210 to U.S. 17, north of Topsail High School.
The $113 million in state funds are expected to be used for Section A's construction.
Section B was already funded through the state's 2018-27 state transportation improvement program, Kozlosky said. Right-of-way acquisition and design costs for both sections also already was funded.
“This is the biggest project in [NCDOT's] Division 3, and it is being funded in large part because of the regional support it received from the WMPO as well as the NCDOT Division 2 and Division 3,” said Piepmeyer, who represents Pender County on the WMPO and serves as the current chairman of the WMPO board.
“I know 2025 seems like a long time in the future, but this has been greatly accelerated and is a much better date than was forecasted in the original plan,” he added.