NC House District 18 candidates offer vague solutions to traffic issues

Oct 5, 2012

Traffic woes in the Cape Fear Region were one of the topics at last night’s House District 18 Forum in the WHQR Gallery. WHQR’s Sara Wood reports Democratic incumbent Susi Hamilton and Republican challenger Louis Harmati were asked how they would solve the plight of motorists traveling between New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.

Both agree infrastructure needs improvement but neither candidate provided a definitive solution to transportation problems plaguing the two counties. Representative Hamilton touted her experience on the transportation appropriations committee in Raleigh, and her support of the ports expansion bills in the General Assembly.

“When we bring home infrastructure projects to our region we increase their abilities in economic development, we increase their abilities in job creation. And folks, let me remind you, that we are the largest port in the state of North Carolina. Having a sufficient infrastructure to support the North Carolina State Ports facility right off the Cape Fear River is critical to economic development and job creation in this region.” 

Harmati says he would fight to secure transportation funds in Raleigh. He says while the Cape Fear Skyway project is one proposal, it’s too pricey for taxpayers.

“But I want to see the most economical bridge development, and the one that will serve our community. And the problem is I don’t see this coming down the tube any time soon. And we’re going to suffer with this for another 20 years. I’ve been here 40 years, that’s 60 years. I don’t know if I’m going to live long enough to see a new bridge." 

In the past two weeks, sporadic bridge closures caused unpredictable and sometimes unbearable congestion for motorists traveling between New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.