If you’re headed to the beaches of Brunswick County, your trip will go a bit faster with the completion of the Interstate 140 bypass around Wilmington.
The first leg of I-140 has been open since 2006, but it dropped Brunswick-bound traffic onto U.S. 421, taking it past the USS North Carolina battleship. A second leg in Brunswick County, connecting U.S. 74/76 and U.S. 17, opened in 2014.
The final 7.5-mile segment that connects the first two opened to traffic on Tuesday. Now I-140 stretches 20 miles from I-40 north of Wilmington to U.S. 17 west of Leland in Brunswick County.
The new segment of the highway cost $204 million to build, including construction of twin 1.4-mile bridges across the Cape Fear River. The project required 5 million cubic yards of fill material and 300,000 tons of stone to raise the highway above the existing ground level.