parking areas at Kite Point in between Avon and Buxton, and at the
former Naval Facility / Coast Guard housing complex at the end of Old
Lighthouse Road, are slated to begin construction in early 2019. The
two projects were outlined in detail at a Wednesday night meeting in
Buxton hosted by the National Park Service.
Kite Point parking lot is being established on the soundside, just
south of the current Haulover Day Use Area. The parking area will have
spaces for approximately 50 cars, as well as a paved entrance and a
hard-packed surface utilizing clay and shells instead of pavement.
a very fragile area of the highway, so we are doing something low
tech,” said Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) Superintendent David
Hallac at the meeting. “Our primary objective is to get people off of
the highway, as parking [on the side of Highway 12] has become a safety
Construction on the Kite Point parking area is scheduled to begin in January 2019, and to be completed by May 2019.
new parking area at the end of Old Lighthouse Road is being constructed
in two phases. The site where the parking area is being established was
once the home of the Naval Facility Cape Hatteras, which was in
operation from January 1956 until it was decommissioned in June, 1982.
The site was then transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard where it
eventually served as a housing complex, and was later transferred to
the National Park Service.
first phase of the Buxton Day Use area project includes clearing the
road and opening the entrance to the site, as well as installing
roughly 50 parking spaces, and a portable “Mobi-mat” walkway to provide
handicapped access. Sand fencing will also be installed at several
small portions of the site where potential pollutants have been
identified by an examination contracted by the U.S. Coast Guard several
years ago. (Further examination of the site is expected to be conducted
in the future to review the presence of possible contaminants, and to
proceed as needed.)
first phase of the Buxton Day Use project is expected to begin in
February 2019, and to be completed and open to the public by April 2019.
second phase is a more costly endeavor, with a construction estimate of
$355,526, and does not have a concrete start date. During the second
phase of the project, a comfort station – or public restrooms – will be
installed, with four stalls for women, and two stalls and two urinals
for the men’s portion of the station. The parking spaces will also be
striped, or outlined, during the second phase of the project.
the Kite Point parking area and the new Buxton Day Use Area were
established as two out of 29 potential projects that were identified in
the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Proposal to Facilitate Additional
Public Beach Access Project in June of 2013.
the 2013 comment period when the project was first announced, Hallac
noted that the CHNS received 1,472 comments, which all supported the
new parking area. “Basically, all the comments said ‘please do this,
but also build a bathroom,’” said Hallac.
attendees at Wednesday evening’s meeting outlining the project did
voice concerns about the potential for increased traffic on Old
Lighthouse Road, which would connect with the Buxton Day Use Area. Both
David Hallac and County Commissioner Danny Couch, who was also in
attendance, said they would talk with representatives at the North
Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to see if additional
safety measures could be implemented on Old Lighthouse Road, such as
posted speed limit signs, enhanced shoulders / bike lanes, and adding a
center line to indicate the two-way traffic pattern.
“There are solutions here… and I think we have an opportunity to [improve] that road,” said Couch.
Wednesday night meeting attracted roughly 30 business and home owners,
NPS personnel, and other community organization representatives who
wanted an update on both projects.
noted that another meeting may also be scheduled in early 2019 to
provide updates on both projects, as well as other Cape Hatteras
National Seashore endeavors that are ongoing, or slated for the future.