BRUNSWICK COUNTY – The North Carolina Department of Transportation has begun a preliminary study to determine routes for a long-planned U.S. 17 connector from southern Brunswick County to the Carolina Bays Parkway in South Carolina, the Wilmington StarNews reported.
The estimated $551.7 million Carolina Bays Parkway Extension project, with North Carolina footing about $366.7 million for its part, is intended to improve traffic flow, but North Carolina has yet to dedicate funding for its part. Horry County, South Carolina, has $125 million for the project.
The NCDOT study area is a swath along U.S. 17 that includes Carolina Shores, Calabash and part of Shallotte.
Alternative routes for the project are expected to be announced in 2019 with a public hearing on the corridor planned for 2021. Construction could begin by 2026.