By WARREN JUDGE
Today, I want to share information as I know it on several topics.
Bridge/Road access on Pea Island
Jim Trogdon, who is the Chief Operating Officer for NCDOT, shared the plan for the repairs to the road to Hatteras Island.
On Friday, Sept. 2, NCDOT hired a contractor to begin the repairs to Highway 12 at Mirlo Beach. This project will be a haul-and-fill with a dune line and a paved road. The sand will be hauled out of Avon. This work is to begin immediately.
The more northern breach at the USFWS buildings will have a temporary bridge. NCDOT has contracted with Mabey Bridge Company to furnish a 600-foot bridge. As Trogdon explained to me yesterday, the bridge was being put into containers for shipment to Dare County to begin immediate construction upon arrival. Both of these repairs are temporary with an expectation of completion within 30 days. The cost of these repairs will be FEMA reimbursable.
As these repairs are underway, NCDOT will be working on a permanent repair at both locations. Trogdon said that he expects NCDOT to be under construction with the permanent repair within six months and the permanent projects will be completed within two years.
Again, because these projects were caused by a hurricane and will be completed in the two-year window of time, FEMA will reimburse NCDOT. These projects will not affect funding to Division One projects, state projects, or the replacement of the Bonner Bridge.
Re-entry to Hatteras Island
The current re-entry plan for residents who evacuated is published on the home page at www.darenc.com
Tomorrow, we begin the process of bringing home all of our people who evacuated before the storm. It is our wish that all will go better than expected tomorrow, and we hope we can speed up the process.
Once all our residents are home, we need to bring all non-resident property owners home to the island. We appreciate and understand the important role that our property owners play in Dare County. Many of you spend extended periods of time on the island and have become part of the fabric of our community. I know you are anxious and concerned, and I share that with you. Please be patient and understanding that we want to get our residents back home so they can begin to put normalcy back in their lives.
Business owners, employees, service providers, and insurance adjusters are critical to getting on with our lives, and plans are underway to expedite your re-entry.
To our visitors, we know how valuable you are to us, and we thank you for your years of returning again and again to Hatteras Island. Please understand we need to put ourselves back together and let our residents prepare themselves so they can begin to bring the culture and commerce of the island back to life and we can welcome you with open arms and be ready to serve you. Visit www.darenc.com for the latest information.
I can tell you today that visitor re-entry will not begin until a future date, sometime after Sept. 17.