N.C. 12 projects moving forward
RALEIGH — On Monday, June 2, at 9 a.m., crews will halt
traffic on both ends of the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet on
N.C. 12 in Dare County as the department performs a routine scan of the bridge’s
deck. It is expected to take about 30 minutes to complete.
By conducting these scans
every three months, the department can effectively monitor any movement of the
bridge. NCDOT will use the data gathered to determine if there have been any
changes, since the last scan done in March. This data will also serve as a
baseline for future scans of the bridge’s deck. In addition to these quarterly
scans, NCDOT also performs monthly underwater sonar scans, which enable
engineers to check for signs of scour, where sand has drifted away from the
“I want to thank all
of the NCDOT employees and local partners who have worked so hard to keep this
vital lifeline open while we wait for the lawsuits currently blocking the
replacement of the Bonner Bridge to be resolved,” said Transportation Secretary
Tony Tata. “These routine scans help our engineers on the ground ensure that
the bridge remains safe for travel.”
Just south of the Bonner Bridge, construction is under way on the
permanent N.C. 12 bridge on Pea Island. The 2.1-mile-long bridge will replace
the temporary bridge currently standing where Hurricane Irene breached the
highway in 2011 - an area where inlets have historically opened and closed. The
new bridge will be built parallel to the temporary bridge and roadway.
Crews are currently building an on-site detour for motorists to use during
construction. Drivers can expect lane closures in the work zone through
mid-June during daytime hours Monday through Thursday, and until 3 p.m. on
Fridays, with flaggers directing one lane of traffic through at a time. No
closures are in place on weekends to avoid impacting tourist travel.
The speed limit through the work zone has also recently been lowered
from 55 to 45 miles per hour. Signs are in place throughout the work zone, as
well, to remind drivers that parking is not permitted on the shoulders in this
In addition to these projects, several other projects currently in the
planning stages will help ensure access along N.C. 12 for the Outer Banks
- Rodanthe Beach Nourishment – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
began accepting bids from contractors earlier this month. Bids are due
June 19. Work is anticipated to begin later this summer.
- Rodanthe Long-Term Bridge – NCDOT is considering two bridge
alternatives as long-term solutions for maintaining access along N.C. 12
to the communities of Hatteras Island. The project is in the planning phase,
and a preferred alternative is expected to be selected this summer, with a
contract awarded in the fall or early winter of 2014.
- Buxton, Hatteras Village and Ocracoke Hot Spots – NCDOT
is developing feasibility studies for potential projects to improve the
N.C. 12 corridor at areas identified as “hot spots” near Buxton and
Hatteras Village on Hatteras Island, and on the north end of Ocracoke
Island. The feasibility studies are expected to be complete this fall.
Some alternatives being studied include beach nourishment, road
relocation, bridges or a combination of those options.
- Ferries – The Hatteras Inlet Ferry, which connects
Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, switched from hourly departures to
departures every 30 minutes during peak hours. Ferry runs were also added
to routes across the Pamlico Sound on May 20. The summer schedule includes
six daily departures to and from Ocracoke and Cedar Island, and four round
trips between Ocracoke and Swan Quarter. For more information,
visit the Ferry Division
website, “like” the Ferry
Division Facebook page and follow the Ferry Division Twitter account.
“I want to thank Governor McCrory, Secretary Tata, the staff of the
N.C. Department of Transportation and all of our partners for the efforts they
have put forth to help us maintain vital access to the Outer Banks by way of
the ferry system and along N.C. 12,” said NCDOT Board of Transportation Member
“As shown by Dr.
Beach’s ranking of Cape Hatteras in the top 10 best U.S. beaches for the seventh
consecutive year now, Hatteras Island is a very popular vacation destination,
and is important to the economy of the Outer Banks and the state as a whole,” said Lee
Nettles, executive director of the Outer Banks Visitor Bureau. “We appreciate
the NCDOT’s partnership and hard work to make sure our visitors have an
N.C. 12 is the only north-south highway along North
Carolina’s Outer Banks. This two-lane road is a vital connection for residents
and visitors from the northernmost point in Corolla south to Cedar Island on
the mainland. The Herbert C. Bonner Bridge carries the highway over the Oregon
Inlet; but North Carolina’s Ferry System, which has played a significant role
in the highway’s history, still provides the only link to Ocracoke Island. The
unique culture and landscape of the communities along this route have also
earned it recognition as a scenic byway on a state and national level.
For real-time travel information at any time, call 511,
visit the NCDOT traffic
website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.
Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a
phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov”
into the browser of your smartphone. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the
iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.
For more information
on NCDOT’s efforts to strengthen N.C. 12 in the Outer Banks, visit the N.C. 12 webpage, “like” the N.C. 12
Facebook page and
follow the N.C. 12
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