Wilmington - In preparation of upcoming and future holiday events, festivals and popular destination locations in and around the Oak Island and Ocean Isle Beach areas, the N.C. Department of Transportation is recommending alternate travel routes to help guide motorists. NCDOT is deploying multiple variable message signs (VMS) to help drivers navigate these routes.
The department will deploy five VMS signs beginning Monday, June 29, and will keep them in place until Monday, July 6, to allow motorists to become familiar with the alternate routes and avoid congestion at popular intersections, namely:
N.C. 211 (Southport-Supply Road SE) and N.C. 133 (Long Beach Road SE);
N.C. 179 (Old Georgetown Road SW) and N.C. 904 (Seaside Road SW); and
N.C. 211 (Southport-Supply Road SE) and Middleton Boulevard.
The five VMS signs locations and messages are:
U.S. 421, just off of U.S. 74 heading from Wilmington towards Leland.
o Message: Oak Island Traffic use U.S. 17 to Middleton Bridge
U.S. 17, approaching Bolivia and U.S. 17 Business:
o Message: Oak Island next left, U.S. 17 Business to Midway Road.
N.C. 211, approaching Middleton and Supply towards Southport, and
o Message: Construction traffic ahead, Oak Island next right.
Two signs at Old Georgetown Road and Ocean Isle Beach Road, north of Ocean Isle Beach.
o Message heading towards Ocean Isle from Shallotte: Ocean Isle Beach, use left lane.
o Message heading towards Shallotte from Calabash: Ocean Isle Beach, Right Lane. U.S. 17, left lane.
While the VMS boards are a temporary measure, the message signs, positioned at strategic locations, will ensure that people move safer and more efficiently around areas of heavy construction and traffic as work continues in the Oak Island area with the Long Beach Road extension project, and in the Ocean Isle Beach area, with the Old Georgetown Road extension project.
The Long Beach Road Extension Project is a new route from N.C. 133 (Long Beach Road) at Oak Island to N.C. 87/133 (River Road) south of Sunny Point Military Terminal. It involves the construction of a new extension road, upgrades to the existing Long Beach Road, as well as work on N.C. 211 and N.C. 87/133.Work began on this project in the summer of 2013, with completion scheduled for the spring of 2016.
Motorists are advised to use caution while traveling in the area and to expect delays. NCDOT reminds motorists to watch signs for construction information, stay alert and obey the posted speed limit.
For real-time travel information at any time, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. You can also access NCDOT Mobile, a version of the NCDOT website especially for mobile devices. Visit m.ncdot.gov from your mobile browser.