U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre announced today that he is pushing for a new solution to the current proposed Highway 17 Hampstead Bypass.
The current proposal does not include an interchange for southbound travelers to choose to continue onto Bypass 17 or exit unto Business 17. This will force drivers to take a 4.5 mile detour to access a business, residence, or school located on Business 17 between Grandview Drive and Sloop Point Road.
Congressman McIntyre stated, "This situation is unacceptable, and we need to find a common-sense solution to the Hampstead Hwy 17 Bypass issue! The current proposal is not economically desirable, practical, or safe for the citizens of Hampstead and Pender County. I strongly urge the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to work collaboratively and find a new solution that will ensure ease of and secure access to Business 17 for southbound travelers."
The current proposal does not include the necessary northern interchange because location of the interchange would encroach on the Red Cockaded Woodpecker which uses Holly Shelter as a forging area.
McIntyre has written letters to the NCDOT Secretary Gene Conti and USFWS Director Daniel Ash asking them to find a new solution that is workable, safe, and practical.