The National Park Service (NPS) has approved a plan submitted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to improve transportation on Hatteras Island via the new “Jug Handle” bridge, north of Rodanthe. A special use permit and highway easement deed will be issued by the NPS for NCDOT’s construction of a 2.3 mile-long bridge, partially located within Cape Hatteras National Seashore.
A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was recently signed by Robert Vogel, the Director of the Southeast Region of the National Park Service, completing the National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act reviewing and consulting requirements.
NCDOT has already begun to build, outside NPS boundaries, the 2.3 mile-long “Jug Handle” bridge as part of a suite of long-term transportation solutions on Hatteras Island. The new bridge will reroute N.C. Highway 12 in the Pamlico Sound to avoid the S-Curves area at Mirlo Beach in Rodanthe, an area that routinely experiences ocean overwash.
Approximately 150 feet of the 2.3 mile-long bridge, located at the northernmost section of soundside construction adjacent to Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, will be constructed inside NPS boundaries. The remainder of the bridge will be built within the refuge and submerged lands owned by the State of North Carolina.
A copy of the FONSI can be found on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=75934.