By IRENE NOLAN
By IRENE NOLAN
Just 24 hours after it closed for the North Carolina Department of Transportation to repair a culvert at Peter’s Ditch in Frisco, Highway 12 reopened to through traffic just after dark this evening.
As had been planned, the highway was shut down at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28, to start work on the culvert repair.
DOT and the contractor had until 6 a.m. Monday to complete the repair, but all involved hustled to get equipment staged and the work done.
There was no highway detour around the closure, though the National Park Service provided a four-wheel drive detour on the beach from Ramps 43 and 45 in Buxton to Ramp 45 in Frisco.
In addition, Dare County provided a shuttle service from Cape Hatteras Secondary School and the Frisco Bath House to the construction site. Riders could walk across a pedestrian bridge over the ditch and catch another shuttle on the other side.
By all reports, the shuttle was used on Saturday, though very lightly.
Dare County Emergency Medical Services had an emergency call in Frisco below the closure on Saturday morning and had a crew staged at the Frisco Volunteer Fire Department. That crew transported a patient by ambulance to the south end of the closure. There, EMS and Hatteras Island Rescue Personnel carried him in a transport chair over the footbridge to a waiting ambulance on the north side to take him to OBX Hospital.
Frisco Volunteer Fire Department moved a ladder truck to Cape Hatteras Baptist Church on the north side in case of a fire call. It, luckily, was not needed.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation’s “Shellabration”, an oyster roast, went on as planned in Hatteras village.
Lynne Foster, who co-owns the Albatross Fleet, along with her husband Ernie, said that organizers think that about 200 tickets were sold, despite the highway closure.
Albatross Fleet, Midgett Realty, and Oden’s Dock, where the event was held, also sponsored the event.
“I think the adventure of getting here was part of the appeal,” said Foster. “A lot of folks took the four-wheel drive beach detour.”
Foster added that there were a good number of out-of-state license plates in the dock parking lot.
Along with 20 bushels of roasted oysters, organizers prepared 50 pounds of fried flounder, 11 quarts of chowder, and a bunch of corn bread – all of which was consumed by the end of the afternoon.
DOT has covered Highway 12 over Peter’s Ditch with dump-truck loads of gravel for now and will repair it with asphalt in a few weeks.