April 29, 2011

Hatteras Island’s Scenic Byway gets $1.95 million federal grant

A $1.95 million federal grant announced today will provide 7.9 miles of paved pathway on the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway on Hatteras Island.  The new pathway, a 5-foot wide concrete surface along the Pamlico Sound side of  Highway 12, will run through the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, and Avon.

“We are elated,” said Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy, Chair of the Dare County Scenic Byway Committee.  “We will finally have a safe place for everyone to walk, ride bikes, or skate along the main street of Hatteras Island.”

Since Dare’s Commissioners first appointed it, the county’s Byway Committee has worked to build paved pathways in all Hatteras Island villages.  One segment of the overall plan, a 1.5-mile segment along Buxton Back Road, has already been built and is now enjoyed as a multi-use path.

Allen Burrus, Dare County commissioner from Hatteras Island who serves on the Scenic Byway Committee, called today’s announcement, “a dream come true for the people of Hatteras Island.” 

“Our community is grateful for the tireless efforts of Mary Helen Goodloe-Murphy and the committee that has worked so hard in championing the Scenic Byway for Dare County,” Burrus added.

The Outer Banks National Scenic Byway runs from Whalebone Junction through Hatteras and Ocracoke islands and extends to Carteret County.  The byway was awarded national designation in October, 2009 and is one of only 150 nationally designated routes.

Warren Judge, Chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners, congratulated the Scenic Byways Committee on the federal grant award. 

He said, “We are grateful for the leadership of U.S. Sens. Kay R. Hagan and Richard Burr and Congressman Walter Jones whose support in Washington, D.C., was instrumental in securing this important grant for Hatteras Island.”

“While we are thankful for the grant announcement, we have a long way to go before pavement is on the ground,” said Goodloe-Murphy. 

“After we sign a contract with NCDOT,” she said, “we will still have to do the necessary surveys, engineering, and permitting for almost eight miles of planned pathway.” 

She added, “The good news is that now we have the funding to accomplish those things and build pathways along the Scenic Byway through the four villages.”

The federal grant is matched by $400,000 from the Dare County Tourism Board and $90,000 raised from community organizations, property owners, and concerned individuals on Hatteras Island.  

For more information, go to the Outer Banks Scenic Byway website at http://www.outerbanksscenicbyway.org/

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