Cape Hatteras National Seashore maintenance staff has begun a project
to restore Ramps 44 and 49 to their original elevations and reduce the
effects of heavy rainfall that flooded the ramps for weeks last fall
and again around Memorial Day.
"Over time with use and maintenance the ramps have developed a
depression or trough and this project restores the ramps to the
original elevations," said John Kowlok, the seashore's chief of
maintenance. "The culverts we are installing will allow a more natural
flow of the water."
The restoration project begins with Ramp 49 in Frisco. The ramp
will be raised up to 36 inches, using sand. A mixture of shell
and clay will be used at the entrance to the ramp.
In addition, two solid plastic culverts, 24 inches in diameter and 40
feet long, will be installed under the road to allow water to flow
through and not be dammed up at the ramp.
At Ramp 44 in Buxton, the ramp will be raised to 24 inches, using sand,
and a mixture of shell and clay will be installed at the entrance to
the ramp. A pair of plastic culverts, 24 inches wide and 40 feet
long, will be installed under the ramp to let the water flow through.
Completion of the work on both ramps is expected in January 2017,
pending material deliveries, weather, and any mechanical issues. The
full delivery of sand could take several months.
Seashore officials says that efforts will be made to avoid ramp
shutdowns, or minimize them to no more than 30 minutes. Signs will be
posted and off-road vehicle corridors will be marked during
construction. During construction at Ramp 44, traffic may be diverted
to Ramp 43 to expedite completion of the project.
A similar beach access ramp elevation restoration project will take place at Ramp 4 on Bodie Island at a later date.
The cost of this project, including the future restoration of Ramp 4,
will be covered by revenue generated through the sale of off-road