Contract for first leg totals $185 million

HAMPSTEAD – A major construction project that will improve traffic flow and safety in Pender and New Hanover counties will get underway this spring.

U.S. 17 is a heavily congested highway in Hampstead, where an average of 43,500 vehicles travel each day.

The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded the $185 million contract this month to improve the thoroughfare.

Conti Civil LLC of Edison, N.J., will construct a four-lane, divided highway on a new location, known as the U.S. 17 Hampstead Bypass, between an area south of N.C. 210 that connects to U.S. 17 north of the Topsail schools, a distance of 5.6 miles. 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.

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. This section of U.S. 17 will be redesigned with safety features called reduced conflict intersections, which decrease by more than half the potential locations where vehicles can collide.

The total distance covered by this contract is about seven miles. The contract calls for this section of the bypass to be completed and opened to traffic by the fall of 2026.

“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,” said Chad Kimes, the department’s Division 3 engineer based in Castle Hayne. “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.

This vicinity map shows the entire 12.6-mile Hampstead Bypass that will be built. Visit the department’s project page for more details.

To learn more about the Hampstead Bypass, check out the U.S. 17 Hampstead Bypass video. The video offers a comprehensive look at the Hampstead projects with the current construction project (R-3300B – U.S. 17 Hampstead Bypass) shown from 0:50 to 2:07 and again at 4:45.

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