DOT answers some questions about Highway 12 repair
North Carolina Department of Transportation posted some questions and
answers today on its website and Facebook page about Highway 12 repairs.
gotten a variety of questions about our recovery plans along N.C. 12 in
Dare County,” DOT said. “We want to answer those questions, so you can
better understand why we’re doing what we’re doing.”
Here are the questions and answers:
are you rebuilding N.C. 12 in the same place?
We’re rebuilding N.C. 12 in the same location at the S-Curves, because
it is the fastest way to restore access from Hatteras Island to the
mainland. We know it hasn’t been easy for residents and visitors to use
the emergency ferry route and the four-wheel drive route to get where
they need to go. That is why we’re committed to reopening the highway
to all vehicles as quickly as possible. Our goal is to have traffic
flowing on N.C. 12 on or by Dec. 25.
Q: Are you
considering beach nourishment at the S-Curves?
Yes. Beach nourishment is currently under consideration as we work to
rebuild and reopen N.C. 12 near Mirlo Beach. We’re working with the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate this option. No final decision
has been made yet.
Q: Can you
put down mats on the four-wheel drive route?
It is possible to put mats on the soft sand. However, they will only
stabilize the route for four-wheel drive vehicles. The mats will not
provide a surface stable or level enough for all-wheel-drive and
two-wheel-drive vehicles. Therefore, we have chosen at this time not to
use mats, because they would not greatly enhance the level of service
we can provide, and they would take a great deal of effort to maintain.
Can you put down gravel on the four-wheel-drive route? Why not pave the
four-wheel-drive “sand road” and put dunes to the east of it?
If we put down gravel or asphalt on the four-wheel drive route, we
would be creating a permanent structure on Pea Island that is not
inside our property lines. To do that, we would need to get special
approval from a number of regulatory agencies. In addition, if we built
a road on a new location, we would also need to build a temporary
bridge at the overwash area to ensure access during storms. These
combined steps would take far longer to implement and open to traffic
than our current plan of rebuilding N.C. 12 in the same location, which
should be complete on or by Christmas Day. Our goal is to reopen the
highway as quickly as possible.
Q: Do you
have long-term plans for the S-Curves?
Yes. In Rodanthe, the department is considering two options. The first
one includes elevating N.C. 12 onto a bridge within the existing
easement, which would end just north of the community center and not
require beach nourishment. The second option is constructing an
approximately 2.5-mile bridge that would extend into the Pamlico Sound
and connect back to Rodanthe just north of the community center. These
long-term solutions are currently moving through the environmental
planning process required by the state and federal governments. We plan
to award a contract for construction in the fall of 2013.
You can find the NCDOT Highway 12 Facebook page at:
The new DOT website for Highway 12 and repairs is http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/bonnerbridgephase2/