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What is the status of the proposal for medians along U.S. 17 in Hampstead?

A sign from a group opposing the medians is seen on U.S. 17 in Hampstead on Nov. 9, 2011. Photo by Mike Spencer

Plans to move forward with installing a median along U.S. 17 in Hampstead are still under way, NCDOT officials say.

“We are currently 80 percent complete on completing the preliminary estimate and design,” said D. Chad Kimes, division operations engineer for NCDOT’s Division 3. “This should be completed by the end of February.”

Once the preliminary estimate and design are complete, they will be submitted for possible funding from High Hazard Funds, which could take about six months. Kimes said once funding for the project is identified, a final proposal for the median is expected to be completed by January 2014, after which a public hearing will be held.

The proposed median is one of the recommendations resulting from the U.S. 17/N.C. 210 corridor study that included recommendations to help improve travel safety along the highways in Hampstead.

Pender County Commissioners voted in January 2012 to endorse the concepts set forth by the study, after weeks of hearing arguments of Hampstead residents on both sides of the issue of the potential impact of a proposed median.

Previously, during a meeting in December 2011, as many residents who opposed to the idea looked on, some holding signs that read “Just Say No Hwy 17 Median, the board of commissioners decided not to back the study’s concepts and recommendations, which led to a public outcry from many residents who believe a median will improve safety along the corridor by eliminating some left-turns, deemed to be dangerous.


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