Our City Is Bigger Than You Realize. Here’s How We’re Meeting The Challenges Of A Growing Community

Tens of thousands of cars travel into Wilmington every day to visit, work, and play, placing far more strain on city roads than a city of 127,000 residents.

More than 127,000 people call Wilmington home but far more visit, work, and play in the city on any given day.

As the population center for a fast-growing region, tens of thousands of residents from surrounding areas pass through Wilmington on a daily basis. That includes 55,000 who travel in for work, a multitude of tourists and convention goers, and all those who take advantage of the city’s healthcare, shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

With Wilmington being a destination and regional hub, this activity places far more strain on roads, infrastructure, and core services than the city’s population would suggest. That’s why meeting the challenges of growth is a high priority for the City of Wilmington, with targeted investments to improve the infrastructure and services so heavily relied upon.

More than 127,000 people call Wilmington home but far more visit, work, and play in the city on any given day.

Moving In The Right Direction

With more traffic comes more strain on Wilmington roads, but we’re taking steps to alleviate congestion and improve motorists’ experience. Here’s how:

Advancing Transportation Projects:

A number of projects are in the works to get people off the street and on their feet (or their bikes, or their roller skates). We’re prioritizing projects that add more multi-use paths, widen streets, build sidewalks, and encourage alternative modes of transportation. Capital improvement programming is a critical procedure for identifying major facility needs, projecting fiscal resources, establishing priorities, and developing defined project schedules to meet the City of Wilmington capital needs. 

Council continues to prioritize capital improvement projects, including upgrades to roads, sidewalks, multi-use paths, parks, and stormwater management. This budget includes $29.9 million for these projects and added staff to complete them sooner.

  • The Streets and Sidewalks program addresses major thoroughfare needs, street maintenance and rehabilitation, sidewalk construction and repair at a projected cost of $16,584,899 for FY22.
  • Capital Improvement Projects also include parks and recreation ($2,815,283), stormwater ($2,975,000), buildings ($7,444,233), and parking ($51,000) FY22.

 Enhancing Street Rehabilitation:

The effects of thousands of cars driving are roads daily are noticeable, that’s why the most recent budget includes an historic amount of funding to mitigate these impacts by significantly expanding our street rehabilitation and street maintenance efforts. The budget allocates $8+ million for street rehabilitation and enhanced maintenance. In addition to the $4,855,543 CIP funding planned for the Street Rehabilitation, the general fund is allocating another $3.5 million further expand the program with more significant efforts on street proactive/preventative practices such as pavement rejuvenation, sealing and micro-surfacing. These practices slow down the deterioration of those roads keeping their pavement condition index at a more acceptable or higher level for a longer period. In total, in FY22, the Street Rehabilitation program will receive $8,355,543.

Implementing a New Land Development Code:

We overhauled our Land Development Code, which will physically shape our city for years to come. The new Land Development Code responds to new and emerging needs with strategies to improve traffic conditions, preserve and grow the city’s tree canopy, better manage stormwater, and develop a more convenient, compact, and connected future city with a smarter approach to land use.  The code calls for services to be located closer to people, which will relieve traffic congestion and make the community more convenient, walkable and bike friendly. Here’s how:

  • Reduce sprawl by encouraging the re-development of vacant or underutilized properties in the city. This helps to reduce long travel times on major roads and improves access and convenience for nearby neighborhoods.
  • Locate residential housing closer to retail, restaurants, other services and offices. This lessens the need to drive major corridors which relieves traffic congestion and makes the community more convenient, walkable and bike friendly.
  • Encourage the on-site management of stormwater runoff and structured parking instead of expansive surface parking along major roads. This reduces the amount of runoff and flooding on surrounding roads and properties, and also enhances the appearance of major roads.
  • Locate buildings closer to the street to create a sense of place and make the community more walkable and connected.
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