Going Public: Rodanthe beach access nears completion
By KIP TABB
no public beach access and cars parked randomly along the side of the
road, summer in the tri-villages of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo can be a
traffic ordeal as visitors try to find their way to some of the best
beaches on the Outer Banks.
the planned completion of the Dare County’s beach access project in
Rodanthe by the end of the year, parking on the north end of the area
should improve, although the Rodanthe access remains the only public
beach access among the three towns.
6.2-acre site includes a packed gravel drive leading to 97 parking
spaces, a wooden walkway to the beach, a gazebo, and bathhouse with
to Tim White, Public Services Director for Dare County, the facility
will allow access to the beach for everyone. “We’ve made it as ADA
accessible as possible,” he said.
concept took a number of years to develop. The county purchased the
land in 2008 for $800,000 with the intention of creating a beach
access, but developing plans and working through the permitting process
took a while.
years ago we met with every agency we could think of,” White said. “We
tried to fast track the permitting process. They told us generally what
permits we would need.”
a small wetlands, the permitting called for multiple agencies to be
involved, according to George Wood of Environmental Professionals, who
handled the permitting for the county.
got a CAMA major permit. That was the overarching permit,” Wood said.
There were also Army Corps of Engineers permits for the wetlands,
stormwater runoff permits and a few others.
Although local government funded the initial purchase of the land, the county has not had to pay for anything else.
going in there is grant funded. There’s no local tax dollars being used
to build it,” White said. “We received a $400,000 PARTF (state Parks
and Recreation Trust Fund) grant, $350,000 from the Outer Banks Tourism
Bureau, and $130,000 from the North Carolina Department of Natural
are additional features the county would like to include, but they will
not be built until the means to pay for them can be found.
was not funded was a covered picnic pavilion, a small playground and a
spray park,” White said. “We’re exploring some other grants to get them
opening of a beach access in the tri-villages is part of an overall
improvement in county services seen in the area over the past few years
and residents are taking note.
Rodanthe Waves Salvo Civic Association will continue to encourage our
county government to help make improvements in our communities as we
move forward,” Mark R. Dingman, president of the association wrote in
answer to a question about the beach access project. “Projects like the
Rodanthe ocean beach access and the Scenic Byways Pathway are great
additions that will no doubt improve our quality of life and economic
stability in the future.”
White agrees that the facility will enhance the beach experience. “It’s a nice access to the ocean for everyone,” he said.
The facility should be ready for use fairly soon.
“It’s our intent to be open by the end of the year or shortly thereafter,” White said.
However, an official opening or ribbon cutting has not yet been established, nor has an official name for the facility.