NEW HANOVER AND BRUNSWICK COUNTY (WWAY) — The beginning of 2024 will not just mark a new year, it will mark new challenges for commuters in the cape fear.
The Cape Fear Memorial Bridge is scheduled to undergo construction in January. The bridge will be closed at first, followed by entire lanes shut down.
Abby Lorenzo, the Deputy Director of the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, said they have some ideas for businesses and employees who could be affected.
“Teleworking if that is an option. Alternative work schedules, so instead of working 8-5, perhaps employees schedules can be shifted to move some of those trips outside of that typical peek hour,” Lorenzo said.
Lorenzo said other options are geared toward supporting the public and those who might not work or commute.
“If you can ride a bike, if you can use transit, if you can travel outside of the normal time that you would typically make this trip. That is all helping to ease congestion,” Lorenzo explained.
One thing you can’t plan are medical emergencies. Getting treatment quickly could mean the difference between life and death. Novant Health plans to utilize their AirLink medical helicopters if needed.
“We have two helicopters staged within the catchmen area for citizens who will be commuting to and from. Both those assets will be used to move time sensitive patients such as cardiac patients, stroke patients, patients that’s experiencing a traumatic event,” said Kevin Hodge, Chief Transport Nurse with Novant Health.
Hodge says AirLink can be quicker than on the road.
“From lifting from this helipad that we’re standing on now, distance from travel by ground will take roughly 45 to 50 minutes. We can get there in 10 minutes.”