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JunktionFET

Wilmington multimodal transit station

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This is a long post, but I am attempting to condense a story that covers many news articles... sorry :)

Wilmington is a rapidly growing small port city in the southeastern corner of NC. Thanks to the film industry, an increasingly diverse population base, and a lot of recent urban redevelopment, the city is really shaping up nicely. monsoon's superb two-part photo thread really shows off the core very well.

Wilmington Transit Authority (or WAVE) is a transportation system that seems to be growing both in transit routes and popularity. In fact, a recent news clip (click here) stated that the system's popularity has increased a bit due to fuel prices. It is also joining a southeastern NC regional transit system, along with systems from Pender, Brunswick, and most recently, Columbus counties.

Several years ago Wilmington started tossing around an idea for an inter-modal transit hub downtown which would incorporate WAVE, intercity bus, taxis, and possibly SENC regional transit, etc, as well as passenger rail.

Presently passenger rail service to southeastern NC is on the state's 20 year transportation plan, but no specific date has been announced. Lack of funding is one the factors affecting the delay, as well as a six year period of indecisiveness from Wilmington regarding where they plan to put their station.

Here is a clip from an article on the subject

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Without the rail component, our transportation center becomes a cab stand and a bus station for local and inter-city lines.

City Councilwoman Laura Padgett, a member of the area

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Very nice thread. I had no idea they were that interested in rail in Wilmington. In my opinion that city could benefit greatly from some kind of light rail as it is laid out for it.

I agree the state should extend passenger rail service to Wilmington. I just wish it was a direct line from Charlotte.

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I agree the state should extend passenger rail service to Wilmington.  I just wish it was a direct line from Charlotte.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No way! Raleigh all the way :D There's a practical reason behind that decision, too: connections in Selma (and later Raleigh if/when SEHSR happens) will provide better service to the Northeast corridor. That's not to say NCDOT shouldn't eventually do , but I think Raleigh should come first.

For those of you who enjoy reading PDF files of reports on transit projects (You know who you are, NorffCarolina ;)) here's a 10mb monster from December 2004 about the site selection for the WMMTC.

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Good thread. In the last 2 years or so, I have been very much involved in transportation planning in Wilmington--I was just there yesterday for a meeting-- and I remember the back and forth on this issue. Amazing stuff and lots of politics! I went to a meeting at the end of 2003 in Wilmington about this new Multimodal Center and it was amazing how the Cape Fear Community College was so adamantly against any kind of center even being studied in the vicinity of their campus. The administration there is incredibly myopic and short sided to not see an immense benefit to the college by locating a multimodal transportation center near them for their students who commute to class each day! I know the commitment is there from NCDOT rail to get this done, but local politics have gotten in the way of progress. I think it will all work out in the end once a few compromises are worked out.

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orulz, haha I am a PDF addict for sure. If I go too long with a "fix", I start getting twitchy :lol: But anyway that report is great--chock full of information. I read through part of it but my short attention span combined with demands here at work slowed my reading progress a bit.

One of the items I found fascinating is the downtown rail loop that allows trains to turn around without having to back up. From the way it sounds, recent project proposals like the new Police station, convention center, and a land agreement with CFCC, will make it difficult and/or impossible to reclaim the northern sections of the loop :(

One of the ideas mentioned is the use of DMUs for passenger rail to Wilmington. I would assume these are very different from the TTA DMUs since we are talking about a 3 hour trip from Raleigh, but still it would be an interesting technology to employ in NCDOT's train fleet. I'm sure this is a much more expensive train option, but it is quieter, cleaner, and more fuel efficient.

I would definitely want to see both a Raleigh and Charlotte train connecting with Wilmington. I believe the Charlotte route would be especially popular due to the crappy highway situation enroute today.

CheifJoJo, it's great you've been involved in Wilmington projects directly and that NCDOT supports rail to that area. How is I-140 coming along? I haven't been to Wilmington since last summer. If you hear any new rumors, feel free to leak them here :D

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CheifJoJo, it's great you've been involved in Wilmington projects directly and that NCDOT supports rail to that area. How is I-140 coming along? I haven't been to Wilmington since last summer. If you hear any new rumors, feel free to leak them here

I just received an updated schedule...

I-140 (Wilm Bypass) will be complete from I-40 to US-421 by fall of 2005, and from I-40 to US-17 (Market St, near Pender Co line) by summer of 2006.

BTW, you can search for a progress report for any ongoing construction project by going to this website.

Rumors?... Well, someone from Charlotte just introduced a bill to change the equity formula that allocated highway funds in the state... probably doesn't have enough support though. Also--not a rumor--the draft TIP will be released in April.

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