New extended Bypass Road at Cape Point is underway
By IRENE NOLAN
National Park Service's staff members began work last week on the new
bigger and longer "Bypass Road" that will help ORV drivers get to Cape
Point at some times when the tide is too high or the beach is too badly
eroded -- as it has been this fall and winter.
road is a part of a package of changes to the Cape Hatteras National
Seashore's final ORV rule that were published in the Federal Register
on Dec. 21 and became effective on Jan. 20.
Bypass Road is one of the access regulations that the park was not
required by 2014 legislation to take a second look at and perhaps make
changes to. However, Park Superintendent David Hallac has said that it
was obvious at public meetings and in public comments that ORV drivers
wanted the Bypass Road back -- and longer.
road had been used informally without incident before the rule, but
after the rule, only a small portion was eventually opened back up --
even as the beach became more eroded in the area between Ramps 43 and
44 and Cape Point.
the new rule, the Cape Point Bypass extension will begin near the end
of Ramp 44 and head south behind the dunes approximately 2,800 feet
until the dunes disappear and then the road exits onto the beach.
The entire route will completely bypass both sections that are often referred to as "the narrows."
walked the entire route with our staff," Hallac said, "and it will
really make a difference during the fall and winter when high tides
erode the beachfront."
importantly, Hallac added, "the new Bypass Road, unlike the existing
bypass, which was supposed to be a temporary route and one that was
never designated as an ORV route, the entire length of the new Bypass
Road will be an official off-road vehicle route, as described in the
project is expected to be completed in about three weeks, depending on
weather and other demands on the maintenance staff's time.
additon, John Kowlok, the park's chief of maintenance reports, that the
improvements to Ramp 44 and 49 to help keep them passable after
flooding rains are almost complete.
fact, Ramp 49 is complete. The ramp has been raised 36 inches and
two sets of culverts have been installed under the ramps to help
stormwater pass though and keep the ramp from become a dam.
Ramp 44, Kowlock said is 75 percent complete. It has been raised 24 inches and one set of culverts has been installed.
and many of his staff members will be at two informal meetings this
week to discuss the changes to the final rule and anything else that
people want to ask. The first public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday,
Jan. 24, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Cape Hatteras Secondary School,
Room 303, in Buxton. The second meeting will be on Wednesday, Jan. 25,
from 11:30-1:30 p.m. at the Ocracoke Community Center in Ocracoke.