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Interstate 42 And Carteret County NC Business Growth. Good or Bad?

The Interstate 42 (I-42) corridor project has the potential to significantly effect Carteret County NC population growth and business development growth, but will it be for the good or bad?

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UPDATE: NCDOT has announced the Havelock bypass.

The I-42 corridor is a NC State plan to have in place a Interstate between Raleigh, NC and Cedar Island, NC within the next 20 years. This project is already underway with the completion of the new Gallants Channel bridge and bypass around Goldsboro and Smithfield. Yet to be completed is Interstate supporting roadway in Havelock, New Bern, and Kinston. Areas in “down east” will likely see considerable new development and roadway improvements.

Carteret NC Local Impacts From Interstate 42

What it means for Carteret County NC

  • The time it takes to drive from Raleigh to Carteret County will be shortened by up to 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Traffic delays between the triad and our county will be shortened, with more traffic in the county increasing.
  • Rapid population growth will be assured.
  • Tourism growth will be assured.
  • Both big name brand and small business growth will happen.
  • In order to effectively serve a larger population, a new hospital and schools will have to be built.
  • New road construction to serve the population growth will have to happen.
  • Considerable amounts of new housing will have to be developed. This will likely happen more so in the Newport areas of Highway 24 and between Newport and Havelock. More housing will also likely be built in areas down east.
  • More jobs and new industry will be realized in the county.
  • Technology driven services will become more prevalent.
  • Michael J. Smith airport expansion likely leading to commercial commuter flights to Raleigh-Durham International and Charlotte International.

Discussion Centered Around The Interstate 42 (I-42) corridor Project

Many believe the tourism that Carteret County gets is related to our “old time” feel small beach town community with very little commercialism and unspoiled beaches.

How do you see that changing?

With water on three sides of Morehead City, how does new roadway, schools, and housing development occur? Where do you put new schools on Bogue Banks?

What positive or negative impacts do you see happening for the Croatan National Forest?

Where in the Bogue Banks communities of Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, and Emerald Isle do you build new housing and roadway? Do you foresee the many resorts on the island being replaced by high rise condos?

With a considerable larger population and larger tourism population, what happens to our unspoiled quaint beaches?

How does local home grown commercial fishing get impacted?

In your opinion, is the loss of the small town beach community feel a good trade-off for more jobs and growth, or do you think the Interstate 42 corridor project will have a negative impact on Carteret County?

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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.

4 thoughts on “Interstate 42 And Carteret County NC Business Growth. Good or Bad?

  • August 5, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Just read the link to the Havelock update and wow it looks like things are fixing to change super fast!

  • June 21, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    Highlights from Carteret County Economic Development Director Don Kirkman speaking in 6/2019 to Cape Carteret officials on the future of the I-42 impact:

    “We’ll probably look a lot less like Ocracoke and a lot more like Wilmington”

    All projections are based on studies after I-40 went in to Wilmington.

    Noted that while state maps showing the Interstate going through Morehead City, that likely won’t happen given the city’s narrow land mass with water on three sides. Projected that the Interstate will end at the east end of Havelock and Craven County.

    “Every day in the summer will look a lot like Fourth of July Weekend”

    Land uses will be of serious concern.

    Most of the permanent growth will take place in Newport along Highway 70, Hwy 24, and Highway 58 on Bogue Banks.

    Healthcare and schools will have to significantly be upgraded. Cherry Point will grow significantly.

    Newport and Cape Carteret will be ground zero for development.

    Director Don Kirkman went on to say that all 2 lane bridges in Carteret County NC will have to be addressed or choke points will be a problem.

    Mr. Kirkman also noted a labor shortage will be a problem unless significant changes to industry is addressed.

    Telecommuting will become a thing as workers in New Bern and Kinston will be within 1 hour drive after the segments in James City and Havelock are built.

    Current projections are that the I-42 project will be completed within 10 years.

  • November 12, 2018 at 11:51 am

    The working class, poor, and the very rich that live here will want the new Interstate. The working class and poor will enjoy the new jobs opportunities while the rich that live here will want to develop every piece of sand and sand dune.

    The wealthy that live in Raleigh however will want to maintain the status quo because they love this area for the quaintness.

  • November 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    I think the argument for or against is a moot point. The Interstate is coming whether anyone likes it or not. Going forward, how tourism officials, politicians, and voters manage the new population, development of new roads, schools, and medical facilities. The bigger question is can long term residents who value the small town feel and clean beaches compel upon the new population to have the same value.

    If we go the route of Myrtle Beach, which is a nice place to visit but a horrible place to live, then yes we have lost the war.


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