The state Board of Transportation recently voted to award the project to S.T. Wooten Corp., and the main construction is expected to begin this spring or summer, said Jackson Provost, division construction engineer with DOT. The project, which will widen U.S. 17/74/76 between Wilmington and Leland from four to six lanes, should be finished by winter 2016.
The contract price is roughly $55.6 million.
Work will start as early as February with the realigning of Blackwell Road, which comes out on N.C. 133 very close to the U.S. 17 interchange. The contractor will relocate the intersection farther south, toward Southport.
The scope of work also calls for replacing the bridges over the Brunswick River, as well as replacing one bridge over Alligator River and widening another.
Also, the project includes construction of a “diverging diamond” on Village Road/N.C. 133 at U.S. 17. A diverging diamond is a type of interchange in which the two directions of traffic cross to the opposite side on both sides of the bridge at the freeway.
“The traffic crisscrosses at a signal so you ride in the wrong lane to make a left turn,” Provost said. “It’s more efficient. It’s a fairly new concept for North Carolina.”
Date posted: January 22, 2014
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