A project to bypass a heavily congested section of U.S. 17 in Hampstead, where an average of 43,500 vehicles travel each day, is expected to begin in the spring.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation awarded this month the $185 million contract to Conti Civil LLC of Edison, New Jersey, to build a section of roadway for the U.S. 17 Hampstead Bypass, the agency announced Thursday.
The total distance covered by this contract is about 7 miles. The contract calls for this section of the bypass to be completed and opened to traffic by the fall of 2026.
Officials say the new bypass will improve traffic flow and safety in Pender and New Hanover counties.
The company is to build a four-lane, divided highway, about 5.6 miles, from just south of N.C. 210 to U.S. 17 north of the Topsail schools. The project will include new interchanges with bridges, ramps and loops at N.C. 210, Hoover Road and U.S. 17 north of Vista Lane, according to the agency.
As part of this contract, nearly a mile of U.S. 17 between the new bypass and an area north of Sloop Point Road will be upgraded with raised medians and redesigned with safety features called reduced conflict intersections, also called superstreet, a synchronized street or a median U-turn.
“This is a major milestone and marks a huge leap in improving how people will travel in southeastern North Carolina, especially between Wilmington and Hampstead,” Chad Kimes, department’s Division 3 engineer based in Castle Hayne, said in a statement. “This bypass will also make a big difference in the congestion U.S. 17 is now experiencing in this fast-growing region.”
A contract to improve the other segment of the U.S. 17 Hampstead Bypass from N.C. 140, formerly known as the U.S. 17 Wilmington Bypass, to west of N.C. 210 is scheduled to be awarded in 2026.