At noon today, Cape Hatteras National Seashore opened the Cape Point Bypass Road extension to the public. The project is a result of a recent Environmental Assessment (EA) and rule-making process that included public review.
The project extends an existing sand bypass road near Cape Point approximately 0.5 mile to provide a continuous route to Cape Point from Ramp 44 that is entirely behind the dunes. It allows permitted off-road vehicle (ORV) users to completely bypass two locations near Cape Point, known as the narrows, where travel can be difficult at high tide.
Superintendent David Hallac stated, “The decision to extend the bypass road is a result of the constructive public input we received during the planning process. It was clear that our users desired an alternative way to access Cape Point during times when erosion caused by storms and high tides may preclude beachfront travel. I am pleased to open the road to ORV users so quickly.”
Permitted ORV users can locate this road approximately 50 meters south of the opening of Ramp 44.
ORV users are reminded that the speed limit on all ORV routes is 15 mph with a requirement to reduce speed to 5 mph when encountering pedestrians or others that are not in a vehicle.
The EA and rule-making process also allowed for opening popular beaches earlier in the morning to ORV users, an extension in the spring and fall to the dates for seasonal ORV routes, an increase in the mileage available for ORV travel, the conversion of the 7-day ORV permit to a 10-day permit, the conversion of a calendar year permit to a permit that is valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, and additional beach access projects near Cape Point and at sound-side areas on Ocracoke Island.
More information is available here: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=358&projectID=59571&documentID=76714.