begins developing long-term solutions for Highway 12
North Carolina Department of Transportation has started the process of
developing permanent solutions for the sections of Highway 12 south of
the Bonner Bridge severely damaged by Hurricane Irene on Aug. 27.
staff met on Tuesday, Oct. 18, with representatives from a dozen state
and federal agencies to discuss possible options for permanently fixing
the largest breach area on Pea Island and the breach at Rodanthe.
12 is the lifeline for the economy of the Outer Banks, and we want to
ensure that it offers reliable service to residents and visitors for
decades to come,” said NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Jim Trogdon. “That
is why we are working closely with our counterparts to do what Gov. Bev
Perdue requested – create a design plan to permanently address the
area’s long-range needs.”
The agencies represented two
groups: the Interagency Leadership Team, which works on policy issues
associated with the process, and the Merger Team, which will develop
the permanent solutions.
They shared their thoughts on
several options for fixing the largest Pea Island breach where the
temporary bridge now stands. Those options include:
Constructing a bridge within the existing easement; and
Building a bridge or road on a new location.
The groups also discussed the following options to solve problems at
Building a bridge where the road now stands; and
Constructing a bridge or road on a new location.
will use the comments received from agency representatives as the
design plan is developed. The next steps the department will take
Holding a panel discussion with experts in the fields of coastal
science and engineering to learn about the changes in conditions along
Highway 12 resulting from Hurricane Irene, identify issues and
constraints associated with future maintenance of the highway, and
provide engineering advice on design parameters for long-term solutions
at the two breach sites;
Hosting public meetings to formally present the options to citizens,
gather their input and answer their questions;
Providing all feedback to the Merger Team and securing support to begin
the permitting process; and
Presenting a realistic, fundable, buildable design plan to Gov. Perdue.
process to develop permanent solutions for the two breaches on N.C. 12
is a continuation of work already under way as part of the Bonner
Bridge Replacement Project.
Phase one of the project involves
replacing the 2.7-mile bridge over Oregon Inlet, which is currently in
the design stage. The project also includes an active coastal
monitoring program that uses scientific data to determine what types of
improvements are needed on Highway 12 between Pea Island National
Wildlife Refuge and Rodanthe and when that work will occur. Using this
program, NCDOT will enact phase two of the project, which will
permanently fix the areas damaged by Hurricane Irene.
For more information about the damage to Highway 12 from Hurricane
Irene and NCDOT’s efforts to temporarily fix it, visit www.ncdot.org/travel/nc12recovery,
follow our N.C. 12 Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/NCDOT_NC12
or go to our Repairing N.C. 12 blog at http://nc12repairs.blogspot.com/.