The N.C. Department of Transportation is moving forward to develop a permanent solution for the breaches of N.C. 12 on Pea Island and Rodanthe caused by Hurricane Irene in August.
In late October, NCDOT and the Federal Highway Administration met in Raleigh with a panel of experts in the fields of coastal science and engineering. They offered insight on three main topics:
- The extent of the damage to N.C. 12 from Hurricane Irene and how it was different than the destruction caused by past storms;
- Options for long-term fixes for the breach sites on Pea Island and Rodanthe, and the extent of the work those possibilities would entail; and
- Points to consider with the coastal monitoring program, which is what NCDOT actively uses to collect data to determine what type of improvements are needed on N.C. 12 from south of the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe and when that work will occur. It is through this program that NCDOT will decide what additional long-term fixes are needed for N.C. 12 beyond the repairs at the two breaches.
NCDOT will analyze the information discussed by the panel, as well as the input provided by the Interagency Leadership Team and the Merger Team at an Oct. 18 meeting, when developing design options to take to the public in December. The Merger Team will consider comments from citizens when making its final decision on what the permanent solution will be in January 2012.
NCDOT understands N.C. 12 is the lifeline for the economy of the Outer Banks, and that is why the department is working expeditiously to meet Gov. Bev Perdue's request to establish a realistic, fundable design plan within six months of when the storm hit.
For more information about the damage to N.C. 12 from Hurricane Irene and NCDOT's efforts to temporarily fix it, visit our N.C. 12 website, follow our N.C. 12 Twitter feed. Photo shows aerial view of damage caused by Hurricane Irene