Weight Restrictions Now in Effect on Four-wheel Drive Route in Pea Island Wednesday, November 28, 2012

RALEIGH – Due to the volume of traffic and condition of the sand on the four-wheel drive access, N.C. Department of Transportation crews are implementing vehicle size and weight restrictions.

Since the four-wheel drive route along N.C. 12 on Pea Island opened, a number of vehicles have gotten stuck in the sand and required a tow truck to get them out. This not only causes delays for the other vehicles using the route, but it also damages the makeshift road.

To help protect access and make traffic flow more efficiently, NCDOT is no longer allowing any vehicle larger than a one-ton truck to use the route. In addition, trucks with trailers are not permitted. Two-wheel drive vehicles are not allowed on the route under any circumstance.

Vehicles who do not meet the weight requirements and/or vehicles with trailers are becoming stuck in the sand, and this causes unnecessary back-ups as tow trucks and heavy equipment remove them.

The four-wheel drive access will be closed Thursday, Nov. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to allow crews to perform maintenance that will hopefully diminish the likelihood of overwash and increase the stability of the sand on the north end of the route.  

Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles should expect a rough ride, which will include traveling over sand, damaged pavement and some water. On the sandy portions of the route, they will follow lane markers comprised of barrels, cones and/or flags.

NCDOT asks motorists to follow these important safety measures on the four-wheel drive access:
  • Only drive four-wheel drive vehicles with a high ground clearance. Cross-over four-wheel drive vehicles that are lower to the ground may get stuck in the rugged terrain;
  • If you drive at night, use extreme caution. There will are no lights staged along the route, so your vehicle’s headlights will offer the only way for you to see;
  • Drive slowly;   
  • Pay close attention to the temporary traffic signals; and
  • All four-wheel drive vehicles are encouraged to lower tire pressure to minimize the chances of becoming stuck.
More information on N.C. 12 recovery efforts is available on our N.C. 12 Recovery webpage and N.C. 12 Facebook page. For the latest details on the emergency ferry route, as well as schedules for our regular ferry routes, call 1-800-BY-FERRY and press 1, or visit the NCDOT Ferry page.

(Editor’s note: To view images of hurricane recovery efforts along the Outer Banks, visit the NCDOT Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ncdot/.)


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