Tunnel Could Provide New Cape Fear Crossing

Wilmington region's Transportation Advisory Committee will vote Dec. 12 on environmental study for new bridge, tunnel and Memorial Bridge rehab options

A meeting meant to kick-start the building of another Cape-Fear-River crossing between Brunswick County and Wilmington, N.C., put the option of a tunnel on the table.

The pricetag for a no-toll tunnel would be about $700 million, $88 million more than the structure for a toll-free Skyway-type project, said Bobby Lewis, NC DOT’s chief of staff.

The region’s Transportation Advisory Committee will vote Dec. 12 on whether to continue an environmental study of all available options – including a Skyway-type bridge near the Port of Wilmington, a tunnel, and an addition to or replacement of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. If approved, the full environmental study is expected to be complete in mid 2015.

The DOT will begin exploring funding options for a new crossing in about six months, presenting its final report on those at the same time as the environmental study.

(more on new Cape Fear crossing . . . )