Hurricane Irene Aftermath
September 10, 2011 Facebook TwitterMore...
Good weather is forecast for Highway 12 repair efforts


Two weeks after the devastating effects of Hurricane Irene crippled travel on Hatteras Island, the ocean has finally calmed down and crews are happy about the favorable weather conditions.

All road work south of the New New Inlet on Pea Island was suspended Thursday night as heavy ocean swells driven by Hurricane Katia made the temporary sand road across Mirlo Inlet in northern Rodanthe impassable. 

Dozens of people who have been working nearly around the clock to repair the only road on and off Hatteras Island, took the opportunity to rest from the work which began five days ago with reconstruction efforts running all day and well into each night.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation arrived back on the scene at Mirlo Beach on Friday morning around 6 a.m. to assess the damage after two high tides on Thursday.

Work began to re-establish the single lane sand road and reset the wooden walk mats used to support the weight of the heavy machinery.  The area east of the temporary road was backfilled to the large sandbags which were reset just before the waves from Hurricane Katia barraged the coastline.

It took less than four hours to repair and widen the path across Mirlo Inlet.

By 10:00 a.m., the parade of dump trucks lined up in Avon behind the Food Lion to get sand and truck it north.  The first deliveries were used to increase the width of the road across Mirlo Inlet to a double lane and to shore up the area in general.

Once the sand road across the inlet was repaired and widened on Friday, dump trucks started transporting tons of sand to the damaged area on Pea Island.  Trucks are dumping sand to make a road to meet the temporary Mabey bridge which will span the inlet in a few weeks. 

The non-useable and broken asphalt is loaded into the empty dump trucks and taken back to Avon.  Removal of the old asphalt is part of Barnhill Contracting’s agreement with NCDOT. 

Work continues quickly on the north side of New New Inlet as heavy pilings and metal plates are pounded into the ground to ready the area for the modular bridge which will be assembled on that side of the inlet.  Parts of the bridge have already arrived to the affected area.

Tropical Storm Maria is expected to pass well offshore of the Outer Banks.  The storm is weaker than Katia and is not expected to kick up the seas as high.

(Editor’s Note:  On the ground photos were taken on Friday, Sept. 9, at Mirlo Inlet just north of Rodanthe, and at New New Inlet on Pea Island.  The cranes and other heavy equipment on the north side of New New Inlet are working on the temporary bridge.  The aerial photographs of Mirlo and New New inlets were taken Saturday, Sept. 10.)

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