The North Carolina Board of Transportation voted unanimously on October 8th, 2020, to delay work on the long-awaited bypass and other projects throughout the state. As reported in a previous blog post, the NCDOT had postponed projects in hopes of balancing its funds, following a decline in revenue that was impacted by a reduction in travel due to COVID-19.
The Hampstead Bypass consists of a set of projects, one roadway that extends from NC Highway 210 to the north of Hampstead, including three interchanges, and another that connects the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass to NC 210.
Construction on the northern section of the bypass connecting NC 210 to Hampstead (Section B) was slated for 2021 but now won’t begin until January 2022. Construction on the southern section of the bypass (Section A) is being delayed from 2023 to 2027. That project links U.S. 17 with NC 210.
The controversial Hampstead Bypass has been viewed as the primary solution to ease the traffic that streams south on U.S. 17 toward Wilmington. Rapid growth in eastern Pender and northeastern New Hanover counties has added even more pressure to the highway system. Recently, the NCDOT also had to absorb the costs of repairing road damage following several hurricanes and tending to other issues. As a result, NCDOT had about a $2 billion loss in its 10-year program.
The next steps in the process include acquiring land to build the bypass and planning for utilities. The land acquisition could take place before the end of the year. Although there have been a series of delays, NCDOT remains optimistic about the construction of the bypass.
Despite the current suspension of the Hampstead Bypass and other projects, all property owners who have pending Map Act litigation claims, will continue to have their cases move forward in the legal system.
The eminent domain and land condemnation attorneys at Henson Fuerst have filed Map Act lawsuits for over forty property owners who are being affected by the Hampstead Bypass and constitutionally problematic Transportation Corridor Official Maps.
Property owners in NC who have not yet filed a Map Act claim and are interesting in doing so can learn more about their legal rights here.
If you have any questions, our North Carolina eminent domain lawyers remain available to you 24/7. We can be reached by calling 919-781-1107 or by filling out a free online consultation form.