January 11, 2016


Inside Road finished on Hatteras,
new ramp started on Ocracoke


By IRENE NOLAN



The National Park Service has just announced that the new Inside Road, which connects Ramps 44 and 49 in Frisco, has been completed and that construction has started on Ramp 63, about three miles south of the ferry docks on Ocracoke.

The projects are all part of the infrastructure initiatives that the Park Service expedited to provide more access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, especially for off-road vehicles, as mandated by legislation passed by Congress in December 2014.

The Inside Road runs four miles behind the dunes and will allow off-road vehicles to travel between Ramps 44 in Buxton to Ramp 49 at the NPS Campground in Frisco without having to return to Highway 12.  Part of the area between Cape Point and the South Beach in Frisco is a vehicle-free area (VFA), which now prohibits travel between Buxton and Frisco. Now ORVs can bypass the VFA by traveling the Inside Road.  Vehicles can also use the Inside Road to bypass areas on the South Beach ORV route that are closed for resource protection.

The Park Service also added another ramp, Ramp 48, just one mile to the east of Ramp 49, to allow more access to the Frisco beach, especially when areas are closed for turtle nest hatching.

The Inside Road project and Ramp 48 were funded with ORV permit fees and constructed by seashore maintenance staff members.

"Our staff did an amazing job finishing the Inside Road, which will provide wonderful access between these popular beach destinations," noted seashore Superintendent David Hallac.

An ORV permit is needed for travel on the Inside Road.

The Park Service also announced last Friday that VRHabilis, LLC, of Knoxville, Tenn., has begun the construction of the new Ramp 63 to provide additional ORV access on the north end of Ocracoke Island. The project is also funded with monies from ORV permits.

VRHabilis will construct the ramp by creating a gentle slope for ORV traffic from Highway 12 to the beachfront, while maintaining a crest height similar to the existing dune landscape. The grading project will be followed by National Park Service employees surfacing the ramp with a shell and clay mixture.

The ramp is expected to be open for public use by the end of spring. For public safety, entry into the construction area is prohibited until construction is complete.




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