THE GAPS: Mother Nature is not cooperating
with repair efforts on Highway 12
...WITH SLIDE SHOW
winds over the weekend created powerful ocean swells that pelted the
Outer Banks coastline for the last four days.
For the workers who are putting in long hours to restore road access to
Hatteras Island, this is yet another weather-related setback.
For the people who depend on Highway 12 for deliveries and for
business, it was more heartbreak for a local economy that is nearly
crippled by the fallout from Hurricane Irene.
There are two distinctly different work agendas happening on each side
of the New New Inlet that divides Highway 12 on Pea Island.
North of the break, work is centered on building the temporary metal
bridge that will be pushed across the inlet in due time. Many
pieces appear to be in place and already, some of the bridge is
suspended over the inlet.
South of the break, the ocean continues to undo recent work at the
receiving end of the bridge and also at the Mirlo Inlet site located at
the S-curves north of Rodanthe, five miles south.
According to one worker for Carolina Bridge Co., about four days of
progress was erased this weekend by the ocean’s big waves that widened
the inlet and undermined previous work.
The old ranger station and former Pea Island refuge headquarters, which
was built in the early 1960s and was irreparably damaged by Hurricane
Irene fell into the New New Inlet on Sunday
On Monday, the ocean swell was a little smaller, but the water was
moving very fast -- like a river running downhill through the inlet --
and continued to cause significant erosion on the south side.
Carolina Bridge Co. had placed some large pipes and materials near the
inlet but has been unable to start work with them due to the high surf.
Ocean water continued to wash over just south of the inlet, which
tested the remnants of Highway 12 that was barely patched together with
tons of sand trucked in from Avon.
Sandbags were added to protect the north part of this repair.
Tractor trailers are now trucking large metal plates to the New New
Inlet that will be used to build a retaining wall that will receive the
There is a lot more equipment, materials, and crews around this area,
preparing for the time when ocean swell dies out.
To the south, the area in the S-curves just north of Mirlo Beach
continues to be a battleground as truckload after truckload of sand is
added to the dune to keep the fragile road open so work can continue
At high tide on Monday, breaking waves were still cresting the very
tall manmade dune line, which was much larger than a week
Sand continued to be dumped here nonstop.
There was more damage to the houses and driveways over the weekend at
Concrete driveways were undermined and broken up on both sides of the
road. Foamy ocean water poured between the oceanfront
houses. A piece of equipment pushed sand to form small
to hold this water back, so the heavy equipment could continue north
and cross the area where little Mirlo Inlet flowed until last week.
The side road in front of the ocean houses used by trucks last week is
no longer able to be utilized because of the recent damage caused by
this latest weather event.
There is no doubt that the repair project would be a lot further along
if the ocean hadn’t been so active over the last three weeks.
There have been very few days when the ocean has been calm since
Hurricane Irene crossed the region Aug. 27.
The wind is forecast to blow much less for the next several days, so
workers are hoping to stop fighting Mother Nature and concentrate on
October is not that far away, and there is a lot of work to be
done. To date, all the crews have achieved amazing
Now it’s time for a little Lady Luck.
the slide show: The photos were taken on Monday, Sept. 19, on
south side of New New Inlet on Pea Island. Some of the photos
show the old yellow brick ranger station and refuge headquarters, built
in the 1960s, which collapsed into the inlet on Sunday, Sept. 18. Other
photos were taken at the site of another inlet on the north end of
Rodanthe near the S-curves.)
The Sept. 19 update from the North Carolina Department of
Transportation included these figures on the progress of the temporary
the progress of the bridge have not changed since last Friday’s report.
- Piling: 29
driven out of 82 total piles.
Bulkhead: 374 linear feet out of 1,096 total linear feet.
Footings: 2 footings poured out of 12 total footings.
89 linear feet out of 662 total linear feet.
The Department of Transportation is still saying that the temporary
bridge will be completed by early October.
MORE ISLAND FREE PRESS COVERAGE
REPAIRING THE GAPS:
update for Sept. 16
update for Sept. 13 WITH SLIDE SHOW
Weather is forecast for Highway 12 repair efforts (Sept. 10) WITH SLIDE
seas from Katia suspend road work Thursday night (Sept. 9) WITH SLIDE
of temporary bridge arriving daily (Sept. 9) WITH VIDEO
on Highway 12 is going blazing fast (Sept. 8) WITH SLIDE SHOW
Highway 12 begins at Mirlo Beach (Sept. 6) WITH SLIDE SHOW
fix for Highway 12 may open road within a month (Sept. 2)
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