November 8, 2012
DOT plans to open Highway 12 to
four-wheel-drive traffic at noon Saturday
By IRENE NOLAN
permitting, the North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to
open Highway 12 to four-wheel-drive traffic by noon on Saturday, Nov.
Currently Highway 12 is closed from northern Rodanthe to
the Bonner Bridge as DOT crews remove sand and repair the damage from
Hurricane Sandy. Access to Hatteras Island is by ferry only,
though the island is open to all, including visitors.
from a northeaster this week have sent more sand and water over the
highway at northern Rodanthe and Pea Island at high tide for several
DOT crews spent today surveying the impacts of the
northeaster on parts of the road already damaged by Hurricane Sandy.
Although the storm has moved north of the North Carolina coast, rough
seas continue to affect the Outer Banks, especially during high tide.
Pea Island, this week’s overwash did not hamper progress to repair the
tension cables on the deck of the Bonner Bridge, but it has washed sand
and water onto Highway at the temporary bridge. As the water recedes,
crews will continue their work to rebuild the highway approaching the
The Mirlo Beach area is also seeing flooding and
overwash on Highway12. Crews with Barnhill Contracting Co., which had
been mobilized there earlier this week, had to move their equipment for
safety reasons. They are currently in Avon stockpiling sand, which they
will load onto trucks and haul to the S-curves for dune reconstruction
once conditions improve.
DOT said today in a news release that
initially, four-wheel-drive vehicles will have access to only one lane
of the highway and Bonner Bridge, and in some parts, they will travel
In addition, NCDOT will close the four-wheel drive
route from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for the first few days to ensure motorist
safety during the overnight hours. Once crews open both lanes of the
temporary bridge at the new inlet on Pea Island, the department will
allow four-wheel-drive traffic 24 hours per day.
four-wheel-drive route will reduce the pressures on the emergency ferry
between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe and the sound ferries from Cedar
and Swan Quarter to reach Hatteras Island through Ocracoke.
island’s oldest and biggest surf-fishing tournament is now
underway. The Cape Hatteras Anglers Club Invitational Tournament
has drawn teams from up and down the East Coast. About 120 teams of six
anglers were expected, and early reports are that about 75 percent of
those teams made the trip.
The tournament has been affected not
only by Hurricane Sandy and the damage to Highway 12 but also by the
northeaster. Today was the first day of fishing and the afternoon
session was cancelled because the ocean was lapping at the dunes on the
east-facing beaches at high tide this afternoon.
fishing continues today. An awards dinner is planned for tonight, and
the tournament wraps up with an individual competition on Saturday.
Many of the anglers are eager to leave Hatteras via four-wheel over the
closed areas rather than to have to deal with the long ferry rides and
The department urges motorists to “know before
you go” about traffic conditions along the Outer Banks. For real-time
travel information at any time, call 511, visit www.ncdot.gov/travel or
follow NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter/.
option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website.
To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone
and bookmark it for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with
the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.
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