Inside Road finished on Hatteras,
new ramp started on Ocracoke
By IRENE NOLAN
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.