RALEIGH – Over the weekend, NCDOT crews continued working on the temporary solution to reconnect all traffic on Hatteras Island to points north of Mirlo Beach.
Between Friday, Dec. 7 and Sunday Dec. 9, crews filled and placed approximately 160 sandbags along a 0.4-mile section of N.C. 12 at the S-Curves just north of Rodanthe on Pea Island. As of Sunday evening, crews have placed 456 of the 1,800 sandbags needed to create a protective barrier between the ocean and the road. Once all of the sandbags are in place, crews will rebuild the dunes on top of the sandbags.
Crews brought in 495 truckloads of sand from the sand pit in Avon to fill sandbags, build up the dunes and assist with rebuilding the roadway.
In addition, crews installed survey stakes in the road bed in preparation for grading, prior to repaving. All sections of damaged pavement were removed over the weekend. After sandbags are installed at the most heavily damaged parts of the highway, crews will begin rebuilding the road where it was located before the series of storms hit. All work is heavily dependent on the weather and tidal conditions.
Crews hope to open the newly paved lanes of N.C. 12 to all traffic on or by Dec. 25. Until then, four-wheel drive vehicles must continue to pass through checkpoints at the temporary bridge on Pea Island and at Mirlo Beach to travel between Hatteras Island and the mainland.
Motorists are reminded that any vehicle larger than a one-ton truck cannot use the route in order to protect access and allow traffic to flow more efficiently. In addition, vehicles with trailers are not permitted. Two-wheel drive vehicles are not allowed on the route under any circumstance.
Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles should expect a rough ride, which will include traveling over soft sand 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; and
- All four-wheel drive vehicles are encouraged to lower tire pressure to 20 to 30 psi to minimize the chances of becoming stuck in the soft sand.
More information on N.C. 12 recovery efforts is available on the 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.