Project Map
Alternatives Map
US 17 Hampstead Bypass Logo

Project Overview and Purpose

Work is underway to improve traffic and safety of the U.S. 17 and Market Street corridors in Pender and New Hanover counties:

  • By extending Military Cutoff Road (project U-4751) in Wilmington from Market Street (U.S. 17 Business) to the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass (John Jay Burney Jr. Freeway)
  • By building a bypass (project R-3300) around Hampstead

Project Highlights

Right of Way Acquisition

Right of way acquisition for the proposed Military Cutoff Road Extension began in spring 2015 and is expected to be completed in time for project construction to begin in late 2017.

Although an alternative has been identified for the Hampstead Bypass, right of way acquisition and construction are currently unfunded.

Alternatives Selected

In June 2012, the N.C. Department of Transportation selected two detailed design options – referred to as alternatives – for the projects:

  • Alternative M1, as the corridor for the proposed Military Cutoff Road Extension
  • Alternative E-H, as the final design for the proposed U.S. 17 Hampstead Bypass

Both alternatives, which were among 13 that were studied, were identified by NCDOT, as well as state and federal regulatory and environmental resource agencies, as having the least impact to human and natural environments.

Alternative M1, which extends Military Cutoff Road, begins at a proposed interchange at Military Cutoff Road and Market Street. The road then extends to the north and northwest, ending near Plantation Road and Crooked Pine Road at a proposed interchange with the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass – approximately midway between I-40 and Market Street.

This alternative generally follows the alignment shown on the August 2005 official transportation corridor map adopted by the City of Wilmington.

Alternative E-H, the Hampstead Bypass, begins in New Hanover County at a proposed interchange with the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass. It extends from the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass northwest past Sidbury Road into Pender County. The road then turns to the northeast and continues to a proposed interchange with N.C. 210. From this interchange, the proposed bypass extends northeast and crosses Hoover Road north of South Topsail Elementary School. The project continues northeast behind the Topsail Schools complex and then turns east to tie into existing U.S. 17 near Leeward Lane. The proposed road continues north on existing U.S. 17 to Sloop Point Loop Road.

Project History

Environmental Studies

The Record of Decision – an environmental document that records the selected designs and explains why NCDOT chose those alternatives – was completed in September 2014. The selection was based on the analysis and evaluation contained in the July 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement and after careful consideration of all social, economic and environmental factors as well as input from the public.

Early Development

Project development and environmental studies for the projects began in 2005 to identify the alternative that best meets the purpose and need of the project while minimizing impact to the environment.

The U.S. 17 Corridor Study Team, a team of representatives from NCDOT and other state and federal agencies, also considered public input and followed the Merger Process – a method used to reach an agreement at critical milestones related to project development and permitting.

Project Timeline

Milestone Dates*
Draft Environmental Impact Statement approved July 2011
Corridor public hearing October 2011
Design public hearing for Military Cutoff Road extension August 2012
Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement approved September 2013
Final Environmental Impact Statement July 2014
State Record of Decision September 2014
Right of way acquisition for Military Cutoff Road extension begins April 2015
Construction of Military Cutoff Road extension begins Late 2017

* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change

Project Documents

Environmental Documents

Public Meeting Handouts


Contact Information

Kim Gillespie, PE
NCDOT Project Development and Environmental Analysis
(919) 707-6023
Send a message
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548

Resources for Local Property Owners

In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.