Local News

Nor'easter damages DOT's repair efforts on NC 12

Posted November 7, 2012

— The storm system that pounded the Northeast on Wednesday also brought more flooding to the Outer Banks, which is still trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy, officials said.

In Kitty Hawk, the nor’easter pushed sand and water onto N.C. Highway 12, and strong waves carried away most of the sand that state Department of Transportation crews spent days piling up along the beach road to rebuild a dune destroyed by Sandy.

Significant overwash also occurred at the south end of Pea Island at Mirlo Beach, and DOT officials said they expect more problems from the storm at high tide late Wednesday and early Thursday.

Crews will begin assessing damage on Thursday and how it could affect efforts to repair Sandy's impacts.

Sandy dumped 3 to 4 feet of sand on N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island on Oct. 27-29, and the pavement buckled in several places. DOT crews had cleared about 75 percent of the sand from the highway as of Tuesday, moving much of it back toward the ocean so dunes can be reconstructed on the island.

The DOT has awarded an $893,297 contract to RPC Contracting to reconstruct pavement, repair sandbags and construct the dune in Kitty Hawk, as well as repairing pavement on N.C. 12 approaching the temporary bridge at Pea Island.

Carolina Bridge Co. began work Monday on a $186,293 contract to repair the tension cables on the bridge deck of the Bonner Bridge, which connects Hatteras Island to the mainland.

DOT is working to provide access from south of Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe so the agency can open one lane of the bridge for four-wheel-drive vehicles to get to Rodanthe and communities to the south via N.C. 12.

Barnhill Contracting Co. is mobilizing crews and equipment in Rodanthe to begin work in the next few days to reconstruct the N.C. 12 roadway and dunes there and rebuild protective sandbags, officials said.

Separately, Gov. Beverly Perdue on Wednesday asked the U.S. Small Business Administration for assistance to Dare County residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

SBA staff and local and state emergency management teams surveyed damage in the hardest-hit areas last week, looking at more than 80 homes and businesses in Dare County.

“Overall, our state was very fortunate, but for some residents along the Outer Banks, Hurricane Sandy was devastating, and they need our help," Perdue said in a statement. "We will do everything possible to ensure that those who suffered damages from Sandy will get any possible aid so they can repair their homes and resume their lives."

If the federal government grants Perdue's request for assistance, it clears the way for SBA to provide low-interest loans to homeowners, renters and businesses that suffered damage from the storm.

Perdue also is expected to declare the area a state disaster area, which would allow victims to seek state funds for recovery.

29 Comments

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  • ConservativeVoter Nov 8, 6:40 p.m.

    They should eliminate NC-12 and go exclusively with ferries and aircarft to get to the outer banks.

    The outerbanks are sandbars which move as they are affected by hurricanes and nor-easters.

    Trying to keep a paved road on these moving sandbars is a lesson in futility.

    As Einstein said, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

  • ConservativeVoter Nov 8, 6:37 p.m.

    Instead of tolling NC-540 and I-95, they should toll NC-12 and let the businesses and tourists who benefit from the highway pay for it's maintenance and upkeep.

  • whatelseisnew Nov 8, 5:59 p.m.

    "Where else do the powers that be see the point in continually building and rebuilding a road on a sandbar? How environmentally sound is that? Is the emphasis on a sound environment or on creating tourist dollars?"

    When their is potential taxes to be collected, the Government will always opt for the taxes.

    "Every time this comes up I have to come on here and remind everyone that Hatteras Island contributes way more tax revenue to the state than what it costs to fix the road every year or two."

    Yeah sure they do. Maybe what we need is to have a toll on that road, so that it pays for itself. In the meantime, the State is scalping us on fuel taxes and the DOT whines it has no where near enough money. Course it would have been helpful if Easley and his minions had not robbed the Highway Trust Fund for years.

  • readit Nov 8, 3:33 p.m.

    Our coastal land is ment to move with the wind, rain, and storms. Stop trying to "rebuild" the dunes let them move naturaly. If some people can't live with that ecosystem maybe we should let it be for those that can handle it.

  • silverflash Nov 8, 3:04 p.m.

    i say don't rebuild. instead, just run ferrys and let people drive on the sand.

  • Glass Half Full Nov 8, 2:38 p.m.

    Where else do the powers that be see the point in continually building and rebuilding a road on a sandbar? How environmentally sound is that? Is the emphasis on a sound environment or on creating tourist dollars?

  • rocket Nov 8, 2:29 p.m.

    Every time this comes up I have to come on here and remind everyone that Hatteras Island contributes way more tax revenue to the state than what it costs to fix the road every year or two.

  • Glass Half Full Nov 8, 1:04 p.m.

    Not a slow learner, a realist. If folks want to visit let them use their 4 wheel drive vehicles, or rent one.

  • btneast Nov 8, 12:54 p.m.

    Throwing money away that this state can't afford to do. I hear all about tourism and all this other stuff, but living on a barrier island is a choice.

    I see we have a slow learner here. Its not about living there, its about VISITING there. The state cannot afford to cut off that revenue stream. That area generates positive cash flow for the state in taxes from tourism. If it was not such a cash cow, and it was only residents there, the state's reaction would be MUCH different.

  • sunshineonmyshoulder Nov 8, 12:34 p.m.

    I think the answer may lie in a few new ferry terminals and four wheel drive vehicles.

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