Hurricane Irene Aftermath
October 5, 2011
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NCDOT says Highway 12 will reopen no later than Oct. 11



The North Carolina Department of Transportation will reopen Highway 12 no later than Tuesday, Oct. 11.

“Our hope is to open before then, but right now we are confident work will be complete on or before the 11th,” said resident engineer Pablo Hernandez. “We will open the road earlier if we can.”

The road has been closed since Hurricane Irene cut several breaches on northern Hatteras Island on Aug. 27.

Dare County Emergency Management announced earlier this week that the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo will remain under a state of emergency and closed to visitors until at least Oct. 10.

Dare County manager Bobby Outten said this afternoon that although the county has not yet made an official decision, it is his belief that if the highway reopens before Oct. 11 that the tri-villages would reopen to visitors at the same time.

“When the road is open, we will no longer have a basis for a state of emergency,” he said.

He also noted that the emergency ferries will probably stop running when Highway 12 opens, so that all of the residents, non-residents property owners, supply trucks, vendors, essential personnel, and others who have used the ferry will have to take the highway.

“There would be no reason not to open it to visitors,” he said, adding that he had toured the tri-villages area as recently as last Friday and thinks that it is reasonable to allow visitors to return.
 
Since yesterday, DOT said in a media release, crews have completed paving the asphalt base for the road patches south of  New New Inlet on Pea Island and begun grading the sand for the roadway embankment leading to the southern end of the bridge.
 
At the temporary bridge location on Pea Island, crews worked all night and into the early hours to set deck panels at the north end of the bridge -- after the bridge was completely lowered onto the permanent bearing supports. The southern half of the bridge is in the process of being lowered onto the bearing supports.
 
Crews still need to install six of the 12 bridge bearing supports, anchor the bridge in place, and finish installing deck panels.

However, DOT said the following items are complete at the temporary bridge location:

•         Piling: all 82 piles driven.
•         Sheet Piling Bulkhead: all 726 linear feet installed.
•         Concrete Footings:  all 12 footings poured.
•         Bridge Truss Spans: all 662 linear feet placed.
 
In an effort to keep residents and motorists informed about Highway 12, NCDOT has launched an N.C. 12 recovery website (www.ncdot.gov/travel/nc12recovery) and twitter feed, and a blog. To see photos of the work, please visit NCDOT’s Flickr page.

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