The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in cooperation with the N.C. Department of Transportation
, advertised for bids this week for a project to nourish the beach north of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island and provide protection for a vulnerable stretch of N.C. 12 locally known as the "S-Curves" where storms, including Hurricane Sandy, resulted in severe beach erosion along the road.The project is designed to provide several years of protection for this stretch of N.C. 12 in Dare County before a long-term project is completed. Plans include dredging sand from an identified sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean to restore the beach protecting N.C. 12 in the location shown on this map. "I want to thank all of the agencies involved in getting this much-needed project out for bid," said Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. "This work will allow us to protect N.C. 12 while our engineers continue work on a long-term solution for maintaining access to the communities of Hatteras Island."The Federal Highway Administration approved Hurricane Sandy emergency relief funds to pay for this project.Contractors who are interested in placing bids can learn more about the project on this website. Bids are due June 19, and a contract is expected to be awarded soon after that deadline. The project could begin as early as 30 days after a contract is awarded.While this work is taking place, NCDOT is considering two bridge alternatives as long-term solutions for maintaining access along N.C. 12 to the communities of Hatteras Island. They include a 2.3-mile bridge within the existing easement of N.C. 12, and a 2.6-mile bridge that extends into the Pamlico Sound. NCDOT held public meetings in January in Ocracoke, Rodanthe, Buxton and Manteo to present the two alternatives and gather feedback. The project is still in the planning phase and a contract is scheduled to be awarded in the fall or early winter of 2014.This is the second time the beach nourishment project has been advertised. The project was previously advertised in December 2013. Bids were opened in January; however, only one bid was received due to the large amount of dredging work underway at the time in the northeast, and it was not responsive to the advertisement. Therefore, a contract could not be awarded. In addition to this project, NCDOT is also conducting feasibility studies for projects to protect N.C. 12 south of Rodanthe at identified "hot spots" on southern Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island in Hyde County. More information on these studies can be found on the N.C. 12 webpage.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 Twitter account.