Hurricanes

DOT, feds consider long-term solutions for Outer Banks highway

Posted December 15, 2011

— North Carolina transportation officials and federal regulators are considering long-term solutions for an Outer Banks highway that hurricanes have ripped through twice in eight years.

State Department of Transportation and officials from 13 regulatory agencies will meet Thursday to discuss options aimed at stabilizing N.C. Highway 12 for at least 50 years. N.C. 12 is a two-lane highway that links 200 miles of barrier islands and serves thousands of beach-going tourists each year.

Among the solutions being considered is elevating more than four miles of the highway onto bridges, DOT spokesman Steve Abbot said. That option would cost several hundred million dollars.

Any solution must also meet federal environmental regulations.

Hurricane Irene cut through N.C. 12 in two places on Aug. 29, blasting a new inlet through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, south of Nags Head.

A team of engineers, riggers and laborers built a two-lane, 650-foot replacement bridge and pumped sand to fill in and repair other damage to the highway, letting it reopen on Oct. 10. The temporary bridge is expected to last for two years.

In 2003, Hurricane Isabel tore through part of N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island, also creating a new inlet. It took two months to fill in the inlet and rebuild the highway.

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  • btneast Dec 15, 6:29 p.m.

    why not toll road.

    ....because there is no alternative route. Did you read any of the previous posts?

  • btneast Dec 15, 6:27 p.m.

    Show me someone that actually owns land on Hatteras that is not wealthy.

    ....what does owning the land have to do with it, rent or own, they still live there and have to get to work .

    If the State was concerned about tourism then all the Outer Banks would have been turned into Park Property so all could enjoy.

    ...trust me , you do NOT want that. NPS is trying their best to deny access to the beaches for all now in the their part now.

  • warbirdlover Dec 15, 5:53 p.m.

    Just fix their road. As citizens of North Carolina they have just as much right to have their road fixed as any other citizen. What about when mud slides and rock slides destroy mountain roads,everytime there is a big rain or road that have a sinkhole show up in the middle of the night. Quit whinning, just because you don't live there.

  • gkgreene Dec 15, 5:16 p.m.

    A lot of money for a road that has an average daily traffic much less than other areas in the state that have traffic conjestion on a daily basis--- why not toll road. I seriously doubt that the tax revenue off rentals and other business for this area would ever come close to ammortizing the construction cost along with the yearly maintenance funds used on this road.

  • bubbba Dec 15, 5:08 p.m.

    That a small handful will benefit is secondary. Those of you who think the only folks out there are rich landowners are really uninformed.
    btneast
    - You sir are the one that is uninformed. Show me someone that actually owns land on Hatteras that is not wealthy. There may be a few but not many.
    I have Barrier Island property and I am opposed to more Gov. handouts, which is what this road is. If the State was concerned about tourism then all the Outer Banks would have been turned into Park Property so all could enjoy. The last time I checked this Country is going broke and tauting a shutdown, our State not much better. Your grandkids and mine will be paying for our mistakes.

  • btneast Dec 15, 4:44 p.m.

    While no doubt it will enrich some, it will drain the pockets of tax payers

    ...not sure how building a bridge will enrich some, other than making it easier to access for renters. The purpose of the road is to maintain the tourism dollars to the state. That a small handful will benefit is secondary. Those of you who think the only folks out there are rich landowners are really uninformed.

  • ratherbnwpb Dec 15, 3:57 p.m.

    Let the private interests that benefit fund the project in its entirety. Surely the "privateers" that live there would agree - get the government out of the business of building a road on a barrier island of shifting sand.

    You are already paying for it just by buying a gallon of gasoline while you drive on those highways, or buy that new car! Get used to it!

  • soyousay Dec 15, 3:50 p.m.

    "The tax revenue generated by tourism dollars on Hatteras Island far outweighs the cost of maintaining the road'

    he initial price tag for any of these ideas is over 200 million...the area served is just a small part of the outer banks. While no doubt it will enrich some, it will drain the pockets of tax payers.

  • sunshine1040 Dec 15, 3:45 p.m.

    Those that trace their ancestory back to the 1800s What kids of rad was on the island then and how did they get to the island i bet they took a boat and that is what they need to do now . whatever you build on shifting sand is going to keep on shifting

  • independent_thinker Dec 15, 2:58 p.m.

    Let the private interests that benefit fund the project in its entirety. Surely the "privateers" that live there would agree - get the government out of the business of building a road on a barrier island of shifting sand.

    While we're at it - get rid of the FEMA funded, underpriced [read: subsidized] wind and flood insurance business. I'm quite sure coastal homeowners would be willing to pay fair market value for insurance to avoid the blemish of a "handout".

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