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What Does The Future Of Carteret County NC Look Like In 15 Years?

Our opinion article on what the future of Carteret County NC will look like in 15 years given the Interstate 42 corridor and boom in new industry and construction projected for the communities of Newport, Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, and areas down east near Harkers Island.

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The author of this article is not involved in Carteret County government, planning and development, or tourism entities. Additionally, the author is not involved in any local town community boards, government, or planning.

The information in this article on what the future holds for the county is simply an opinion and forward thinking. Using the form at the bottom, what information in this document do you agree with, disagree with, or what are some areas we did not address?

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  • The completion of Interstate 42 and Havelock bypass will have profound impacts on the town of Newport in the areas of new residential construction and even commercial construction. Wooded areas not apart of the Croatan National Forest will be commercially developed. The areas of Lake Rd, 9 mile Rd, and Mill Creek Rd will see heavy residential construction as Cherry Point expands and new industry moves in to the area. All of Highway 101 in to Beaufort will be developed as well.
  • Highway 24 between Morehead City and Cape Carteret will see significant residential and commercial development.
  • As the population grows and new tourism gets attracted to the area, I imagine that a new bridge going from Newport over Bogue Sound in to the Indian Beach and Salter Path area will have to be built.
  • Morehead City will be an epicenter of new commercial growth as new businesses focus on the community. There is very little room for residential growth in Morehead except in areas along County Club Rd and Crab Point.
  • Big brand industry will quickly move in to all communities threatening locally owned small businesses.
  • Wooded areas east of the Tiller School in Beaufort out to Merrimon will see new housing growth.
  • All roads and bridges in Carteret County will have to be upgraded.
  • A new hospital will have to be built, likely in eastern areas of the county. Additionally, we envision the Vidant system buying out Carteret Health Care or acquiring it in the future.
  • All current schools will have to expand, or new schools built.
  • The Beaufort airport will likely see regional commuter airline service.
  • Current resorts from Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle will be under pressure to sell or expand. We imagine that whatever ordinances that govern building height will be challenged because the largest real estate on Bogue Banks is building height.
  • All sandy beach areas on Bogue Banks will become more crowded and towns will really have pay more attention to beach nourishment and trash cleanup. The sprawling sand dunes along the beaches of Bogue Banks will be threatened.
  • Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout will see more human traffic.
  • If Camp Lejeune expands like Cherry Point will, then Cedar Point, Cape Carteret, and Peletier will see significant development.
  • Boat traffic on all waterways will exponentially increase.
  • Coastal wildlife and nature ecosystems, natural resources, and living shorelines will have to be protected.
  • The NC Seafood Festival will be forced to move it’s location from downtown Morehead City to another location as the festival grows and parking becomes limited.
  • Large aerospace and technology firms will move in to the area as Cherry Point and both Coast Guard stations expand.
  • Carteret Community College will significantly expand, offering more degree programs and educational opportunities.
  • CCATS public transportation will grow, or be acquired by larger providers.
  • Traffic will exponentially increase and there will be less of a differentiation between off-season and tourism season traffic.

The future of Carteret County NC communities will likely spur heated debates between outside developers and locals who see value in our quaint, small town feel and southern hospitality. There will also be heated debates between conservationist and business leaders and developers as the future of our coastal landscape gets eyed by outside developers.

Using the comment form below, in what areas do you disagree or agree with in our assessment of what the future of the county looks like?

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Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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