How the U.S. 17 Hampstead Bypass Will Affect Wilmington Traffic

intersection in Wilmington with sign showing how to get on hwy 74

The Hampstead Bypass, or U.S. Route 17 Bypass as it will likely be designated, is under construction in the Wilmington area of North Carolina. When complete, the new road will bypass the towns of Hampstead and Ogden. It is being built to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety in the area. 

Currently, the bypass is expected to be completed by 2029 instead of the originally scheduled 2030. The bypass will set up a nearly 13-mile-long road that extends N.C. 140 to N.C. 210 and N.C. 210 to a location north of Hampstead. As a result, the Hampstead Bypass should reduce the frequent congestion and collisions that occur within this heavily traveled area. However, while it is under construction, drivers should proceed with caution. 

How Bypasses Affect Traffic

A bypass is an alternative road designed to allow drivers to take a route that avoids heavy traffic areas with lots of intersections. Bypasses affect traffic by decreasing road congestion. They allow for faster travel time and less likelihood of hazardous road conditions that could be caused by traffic. Bypasses guide drivers through controlled entries and exits that are fewer in number than on local routes. With a bypass, cross-traffic is minimized or eliminated. 

Accidents That Commonly Occur in Construction Zones

Each year, several hundred deadly accidents occur within construction zones, according to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Distracted driving and speeding are the leading causes of accidents in these areas. 

Examples of the types of accidents that can occur in construction zones include: 

  • Collisions with barriers or signs
  • Multiple car collisions
  • Blind spot accidents

The FMCSA encourages all drivers – whether their vehicles are big or small – to take extreme caution while driving in a construction zone.

How to Stay Safe While Construction Is Underway

You can take a number of actions to stay safe while driving through a construction zone, such as: 

  1. Slowing downReduce your speed when you approach a construction zone, even if the construction is not occurring near your lane. On roads with several lanes, drivers in the far left or right lanes may be several feet away from the actual construction site. Still, drivers should not be tempted to disregard speed changes regardless of how near or far they are from the workers on site.
  2. Keeping your distanceMaintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you to prevent a rear-end collision. Be prepared to stop. Traffic flow in construction zones requires drivers to stop their vehicles frequently and sometimes unexpectedly.
  3. Reducing any distractionsAvoid texting, eating, changing the radio, or other distractions when you are in a construction zone. A split second of distracted driving can lead to a collision.

Contact Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, to Speak with a Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a car accident in a construction zone that wasn’t your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Wilmington construction zone accident attorneys at Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC, now for a free consultation.

Stewart Poisson focuses her practice on litigation. Stewart opened the Wilmington office of Poisson, Poisson & Bower, PLLC in 2006. She assists clients in both of the firm’s offices in the fields of Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury and handles all appellate work for the firm. She particularly enjoys helping clients who have been injured in workplace accidents caused by the negligence of a third party. She represents clients in the both the personal injury claim and the workers’ compensation claim and is skilled at maximizing her clients’ recovery in these complicated cases.