December 12, 2011


UPDATE: NCDOT schedules a Highway 12 workshop on Ocracoke




After holding two well attended public workshops this week in Dare County, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will host a third workshop early next month in Ocracoke to discuss long-term solutions for the breaches on Highway 12 caused by Hurricane Irene.
 
"Citizens on Ocracoke Island told us they wanted to know more about the options we're considering to fix the N.C. 12 breaches on Pea Island and in Rodanthe, so we gladly scheduled this additional meeting," said NCDOT Project Planning Engineer Beth Smyre. "We appreciate their interest and will use their feedback to help determine the best long-range solution for each breach."
 
NCDOT has scheduled the workshop for Thursday, Jan. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m. at  the Ocracoke Community Center.
 
The meeting is informal, and citizens are welcome to drop in at any time between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. NCDOT representatives will be available to explain the design options under consideration for each breach and answer any questions. The public is urged to share their ideas, thoughts, and suggestions with department staff.
 
NCDOT is also accepting comments via traditional mail and e-mail. The comment form and contact information will be available at the meeting and online at www.ncdot.gov/travel/nc12recovery.

After the Dare County workshops, NCDOT is taking the steps below to reach a final decision on how to fix each breach:

  • Dec. 15 - The Merger Team, a group made up of state and federal agencies tasked with developing the long-term solutions, will meet. They will discuss the information shared by the panel of experts in the fields of coastal science and engineering who met in October and the feedback given thus far at the public workshops;
  • Jan. 20 - NCDOT will officially close the public comment period. At that time, the department will complete its assessment of all the feedback received; and
  • Late January 2012 - NCDOT will meet with the Merger Team to select the design option for each breach. The department will then take the group's realistic, fundable recommendation to Gov. Bev Perdue.


Gov. Perdue considers Highway 12 the "lifeline" of the Outer Banks economy and requested that NCDOT quickly develop long-term solutions for the breaches to ensure the public has efficient, reliable access to jobs and education.
 
That process 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 Oregon Inlet and Rodanthe and when that work will occur. Using this program, NCDOT is enacting phase two of the project, which will implement the long-term solutions for the areas damaged by Hurricane Irene.
 
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled persons who wish to participate in the workshop in January. To arrange appropriate accommodations, please contact Beth Smyre in the NCDOT Project Development and Environmental Analysis Unit at (919) 707-6043 or via e-mail at [email protected]ot.gov.
 
For more information about the damage to N.C. 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/.
 




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