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CoastLine: Traffic in Southeastern North Carolina


A 2015 assessment of cities in North Carolina with a population of 10,000 or more ranked Wilmington second after Asheville for crashes.  For every one minute a freeway lane is blocked due to a crash incident, four minutes of travel time are added.  About 30% of all crashes are secondary crashes -- caused after the initial crash -- possibly due to a sudden stop, distracted driving, or rubber-necking.  Those statistics are courtesy of Jessi Leonard, Division Traffic Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

How often do you drive from one end of town to the other without getting frustrated or noticeably delayed?  Do you consider yourself a fairly even-tempered person but have more bouts of road rage than you care to admit?  Do you commute between Brunswick and New Hanover Counties and deal with those traffic complexities as planners work to accommodate the rapid growth? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then this discussion is for you.  On this edition of CoastLine, we learn from two engineers about local expansion and improvement projects, what’s on the horizon, and why you always seem to reach the intersection when the light turns red.

We also spend considerable time on questions from callers and emailers.


Karen Collette, Division Engineer for Division 3, North Carolina Department of Transportation

Denys Vielkanowitz, Signal System Management Engineer, City of Wilmington


Click here to see high profile NC DOT projects and studies in the southern coastal region of NC.

Click here to see the projects being considered by NC DOT as part of Prioritization 4.0 -- Strategic Transportation Initiative.

Prioritization Resources (NC DOT)