State News

Road link to Outer Banks reopens

Posted October 10, 2011 11:58 a.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2011 8:50 a.m. EDT

— The road that links the mainland to Hatteras Island was to reopen Monday at 5 p.m., more than a month after damage from Hurricane Irene blocked land access to that portion of the Outer Banks.

Crews have been working, sometimes around the clock, on breaches to N.C. 12 since the storm passed Aug. 27.

Irene washed out two areas of the highway, including a section more than 200 feet long in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, south of Nags Head, when the Category 1 storm touched down on the coast.

The two-lane, 650-foot temporary bridge will restore traffic and will remain in place as long as necessary while the DOT works toward a permanent repair to the damage. Engineers have said they hope a permanent solution will be ready by 2016.

Other crews have used sand to repair a section of N.C. 12 that washed away north of Rodanthe.

The speed limit along the temporary bridge will be 25 mph because of its narrow width and the curves of the highway approaches on either end, officials said.

Crews still have to do some final paving, grading along the shoulders and remove some old asphalt, officials said, which might require some lane closures.