By Bill Walsh StarNews Correspondent
Published: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 8:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at 12:05 a.m.
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HAMPSTEAD — It is just a small step in the right direction, Mike Nadeau said, made after years of concerted effort on his part and on the part of Citizens 4 the Hampstead Bypass (C4HB), the active group that he organized and leads.

The size of the stride will ultimately be determined by whether it leads to winning N.C. Department of Transportation funding approval for the bypass proposal later this fall when road projects are again reviewed and ranked.

For more than two years, C4HB has insisted that a third midtown ramp off the bypass is unnecessary and not supported by any documented N.C. DOT study, and in July, at the urging of recently departed transportation secretary Tony Tata, N.C. DOT officials finally agreed to sit down with C4HB engineers to go over the data.

Nadeau is convinced that this cooperation will result in N.C. DOT’s conclusion that many more vehicles will traverse the entire bypass, and that some 46 percent of cars won’t exit in Hampstead as N.C. DOT has long insisted without providing any supporting documentation.

If more people use the bypass as a bypass, the state’s cost/benefit analysis changes and the proposed road begins to increasingly look like a more pressing and necessary project, Nadeau said earlier this week. And the icing on the cake? A determination that the midtown interchange is not needed. That would save some $30 million, by Nadeau’s estimate, making the cost/benefit analysis even more positive.

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