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Crews work to rebuild NC 12

Posted September 6, 2011

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— Ferries delivered heavy equipment to Hatteras Island Tuesday as crews worked to repair part of the Outer Banks' only highway, which Hurricane Irene washed out last month.

NC Hwy 12 Rodanthe road repair

The section of N.C. Highway 12, just north of Rodanthe, is one of two areas of the roadway that were damaged in the storm.

Construction crews spent all day Monday transporting sand and spreading it out to fill in the breach as part of the state Department of Transportation's efforts to have the highway open within the month for residents and tourists.

The DOT plans to install a temporary bridge to reconnect the roadway at the second, larger breach in the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.

This short-term repair is expected to cost $10 million in federal disaster relief. The DOT is planning a long-term fix, but it hasn't been worked out yet.

Meanwhile Tuesday, ferry service resumed for Hatteras Island residents who left the island in advance of Irene.

Ramp damage temporarily shut down the ferry Sunday after a piece of heavy equipment being loaded onto the ferry damaged the ramp at Stumpy Point.


View NC Highway 12 damage in a larger map

15 Comments

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  • reddrum27 Sep 8, 2011

    I have lived on Hatteras Island all my life and I must confess we all must learn that we live on an island and follow suit with what other islands do to provide reliable transportation for residents and tourists alike. My idea for a viable solution is that we forget the new bridge but keep it patched up and the road until the island builds a ferry terminal system in Wanchese, NC that will support four 200 car plus high speed shallow draft ferries (like in Europe). They need to build two smaller ferries to service the off season. The cost of admission will be 20.00. This will solve future situations such as this from occuring and deal with a much smaller stretch of highway. A plan like this is feasible where continuing on with the false belief that the road will stay together being like one writer said; trying to tape leaves back on a tree. The faster we accept we live in an shrinking island the better.

  • Iworkforaliving Sep 7, 2011

    putting sand for the ocean to wash away again next year is just as stupid as taping leaves back on the trees in the fall. WASTE OF MONEY. You want to live or visit the nc sand bar, buy a boat. quit digging in my pocket for money to keep that waste from washing away. you will never win against the ocean.

  • mrsgaskill Sep 7, 2011

    I am willing to bet 8 out of 10 people who are beating their drums in protest about rebuilding Rt12 have driven or will drive on it to enjoy a vacation. How about this - close the road, don't let anyone live there and see how much tourism revenue this state loses because of it. You will then be screaming because the state is losing out on a cash cow! There are surfing nationals held there, multiple national fishing tournaments and on any given summer week MILLIONS of dollars travels up and down that road. Do the people - who would gladly use their tax dollars to rebuild RT12 (as opposed to using them to fund welfare drains and cheats) so that they can enjoy the natural beauty of the Outer Banks - a favor and stay off of it. OBXDREAMIN - I am with you, I can't wait for the road to reopen so I can go back!

  • mesocell Sep 7, 2011

    Again, I understand the uneasiness of spending the dollars to rebuild Highway 12. However, I don't think ferries, as we know them today, is the answer for the exact same reason the road is not the right answer to many who are against it....shifting sand. Last year, a Hatteras/Ocracoke ferry ran around on a sandbar that formed in the main channel. Putting in multiple ferry points, as would be required by closing Highway 12, would require the purchase of more ferries, the upkeep of the new ferries, and the dredging operation to keep the ferry routes open. As many environmentalist will tell you, dredging is just as bad if not worse than the road.

    I am all for a better solution here. However, the ferry solution that people are asking for is not the cost effective answer everyone thinks it is. Granted, some of the ferry routes could be tolled, but much like a bus or train system, that never recoups the cost of the service.

  • hp277 Sep 7, 2011

    Waves from Katia are coming and will just make these holes even bigger. Rebuilding this road is a losing cause. They need to return to serving this area by ferry, just like they used to.

  • jeffdewitt Sep 7, 2011

    You folks are forgetting something. NC 12 isn't just another local road, it's a destination road. People actually come from all over the world just to drive that road. Anyone who hasn't driven it yet should, it's an amazing drive... and yes, what amounts to a road on a sandbar is kind of silly, but that's a big part of its attraction.

  • obxdreamin Sep 7, 2011

    As soon as it opens I am going! You need to support the locals and its a great place to visit with your family.

  • packfan27 Sep 7, 2011

    can't wait to see this temporary bridge...

  • 426X3 Sep 7, 2011

    Until the next big storm.

  • thinkin out loud Sep 7, 2011

    fayncmike I must disagree with you. I used to work in the Hatteras area and that hwy was a disaster to start with, it should have never been built. Even swells will wash out sections of the road or at many wash sand over it making it impassable.

    Ferry service is how people got on and off before and they need to go back to that. All the tax money collected from the ones that live there, have businesses there and the ones that have spent money there does not equal what it takes to keep repairing that road. And the $10 mill in federal aid is OUR tax money to start with (unless it's Obama Cash freshly printed just for this).

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