CoastLine: Cape Fear Crossing Project Delays Route Selection

May 29, 2019

Cape Fear Crossing is the 21st century plan to pick up where the Cape Fear Skyway left off.  

It’s essentially a 9.5 mile bridge and road over the Cape Fear River connecting New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.  The aim, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, is to 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.

Cape Fear Crossing could follow one of six possible routes.  The project cost is estimated by NC DOT to range between $620 million and nearly $1 billion.  The Draft Environmental Impact Statement is now complete, and while officials had planned to select a preferred route this summer, they've now decided to extend the route selection deadline until the end of 2019. 

That launches the next phase of the process and the crafting of the Final Environmental Impact Statement.  Once the FEIS is finished, officials say they’ll determine the actual route for the project. 

DOT held two public hearings at the end of April – one in Wilmington and one in Leland.  Both were heavily attended, but Leland by far saw the higher turnout.

On this edition, we explore the questions around the project, the timeline, and why an informal citizens’ coalition has formed.


Jamille Robbins, Group Leader of Public Involvement, Community Studies & Visualization for the North Carolina Department of Transportation

Joanne Donaghue, Representative, Cape Fear Crossing Citizen Coalition


Draft Environmental Impact Statement:

Southern Environmental Law Center comments on DEIS: