OCRACOKE – Ferry passengers need to expect some delays this month, as the N.C. Department of Transportation will soon implement a temporary traffic management plan on Ocracoke Island while crews work to repair dunes along N.C. 12 damaged by Hurricane Florence.
Off-road dump trucks will be hauling sand from the dredge spoil site near the ferry dock on the northern end of the island to the 1.25-mile section of affected dunes. Due to the large trucks and heavy equipment on the roadway, NCDOT will implement traffic control measures to minimize work zone hazards to the residents and visitors on the north end of Ocracoke Island.
Starting Monday, all departing (northbound) ferry traffic will be staged at the National Park Service (NPS) parking area at South Bitterswash Creek. NCDOT-provided portable toilets will be placed here for ferry passengers during their wait. A pilot car will then escort arriving (southbound) vehicles through the work zone to Bitterswash Creek, then allow the traffic to continue south on N.C. 12. The pilot car will then lead any departing ferry traffic from the parking area though the work zone to the ferry.
Departing ferry traffic will need to arrive at South Bitterswash Creek 20 minutes prior to the ferry departure.
Commercial fisherman will be allowed to access Quork Hammock Road, but they will need to correspond with traffic control personnel onsite. Prong Road, next to the dredge spoil site, will be closed to all traffic. Ramp 59 will remain open to NPS off-road vehicle permit holders, but signs will be put in place to indicate that a pilot vehicle is still needed to travel on the section of N.C. 12 near the ramp.
This temporary traffic management plan will be in place while the contractor is working, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and some Saturdays if needed. When the work zone is not active, these traffic restrictions will be removed.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.
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