The Cape Fear Crossing is an approximately 9.5-mile proposed road and bridge over the Cape Fear River that would help improve traffic flow and enhance freight movements from U.S. 17 and I-140 in Brunswick County to U.S. 421 near the Port of Wilmington in southern New Hanover County.
U.S. 17 serves as one of the primary entry points into Wilmington from the west, and the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization determined that an additional crossing is needed to alleviate congestion on the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge (U.S. 76/U.S. 421/ U.S. 17 Business).
The Cape Fear Crossing would also make it quicker for residents and visitors to evacuate in the event of a hurricane or other emergency situation.
Preliminary cost estimates for the Cape Fear Crossing are between $620 million and $995 million. Final costs will be determined during the design process.
At this time, NCDOT has decided to halt efforts on this project after the updated draft 2020-2029 State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) was released in August 2019. In the draft STIP, the project is only partially funded for right-of-way acquisition while construction remains unfunded.
Since the project is programmed for right-of-way authorization in the latter years of the STIP, it will need to recompete for funding in the next round of project scoring. NCDOT will be releasing the next draft STIP in February 2022.
Once funding for construction is secured, it will take an estimated five years to complete the project.