N.C. 12 – from the southern portion of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to northern Rodanthe, including a section known as the "S-curves" – is susceptible to breaches caused by storms, including Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
In response to severe beach erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Highway Administration in March 2013 approved emergency relief funds to pay for a beach nourishment project that used 1.6 million cubic yards of sand dredged from two sandbars in the Atlantic Ocean. The project – a short-term solution to preserve the highway until a long-term solution to the breach could be developed and built – was completed in fall 2014.
As a long-term solution, the N.C. Department of Transportation plans to elevate this portion of N.C. 12 onto a 2.4-mile bridge – known as a "jug handle" – that extends from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Pamlico Sound into Rodanthe.
The project – along with a bridge project on N.C. 12 near the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge – is considered part of Phase II of the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project.
Plans for this project involve building a 2.4-mile bridge – known as a "jug handle" – that extends from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Pamlico Sound into Rodanthe. This design – referred to as the preferred alternative – minimizes impacts to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, the ocean shoreline and the community of Rodanthe while maintaining safe and reliable access for area residents and visitors to southern Hatteras Island.
NCDOT also proposes building a one-lane roundabout (as opposed to a traditional "T" type intersection) at the end of the existing N.C. 12 and relocated N.C. 12 near the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge. The roundabout option offers a safer intersection with less potential conflict points - areas where drivers are crossing, merging or leaving a road - and lower travel of speed through the roundabout.
Traffic would be maintained on N.C. 12 while the new bridge is being built. Once construction is complete, the existing roadway in the refuge would be removed, and that land would be returned to the refuge. In Rodanthe, the existing N.C. 12 roadway would remain to provide access to private properties.
Design–Build Contract Awarded
In January 2017, the N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a design-build contract to Flatiron Constructors, Inc. to build the Rodanthe Bridge.
Design and permitting is expected to take about a year to complete. Construction could start as early as January 2018. Based on Flatiron's schedule, the bridge is expected to open to traffic by early summer 2020, approximately a year earlier than anticipated.
The design-build method allows the design, environmental permitting, utility relocation and construction to take place under one contract, which reduces overall construction time, helps the department avoid cost inflation, lessens environmental impact and alleviates driving delays for motorists.
Record of Decision Issued
The Federal Highway Administration on Dec. 15, 2016, issued the Record of Decision, making way for NCDOT to award a contract for design and construction of a new permanent bridge.
Required under the National Environmental Policy Act, the 263-page Record of Decision explains why NCDOT selected the alternative – or design – it did for the project and discusses other alternatives considered during the planning and design process. It also includes responses to public and resource agency comments received at and following public hearings in Ocracoke, Rodanthe and Manteo in June 2016.
Preferred Alternative Identified
NCDOT identified the 2014B Bridge on New Location Alternative as the preferred alternative in the revised Environmental Assessment – approved by the Federal Highway Administration on May 24, 2016.
The original Environmental Assessment – released in December 2013 – identified the Bridge Within Existing N.C. 12 Easement as the preferred alternative. It was later revised in response to comments from environmental resource and regulatory agencies and the public.
The 2014B Bridge on New Location Alternative's alignment is closer to the shoreline than the 2013 Bridge on New Location Alternative assessed in the 2013 Environmental Assessment. The two alignments are virtually identical on land in Rodanthe and in the refuge. The alignment change in the Pamlico Sound was made to minimize impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation. Also considered was a third alignment, the 2014A Bridge on New Location Alternative.
Project News Releases
- Currently, no recent news releases.
Documents and Maps for Public Review
Public Meeting/Hearing Materials
April 2017 Public Meeting & Comment
The N.C. Department of Transportation is holding the following public meeting to present a design modification proposed at the southerly landfall of the bridge over the Pamlico Sound between N.C. 12 in Rodanthe and the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge:
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center
23186 Myrna Peters Road
Rodanthe, NC 27968
Please note that there will be no formal presentation. NCDOT and design-build team representatives will be available to present a map of the proposed modification, answer questions and receive comments.
Comments on the proposed modification are also being accepted online or by mail at the address below until Thursday, May 11, 2017.
N.C. Department of Transportation
1595 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1595
NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled individuals who want to participate in these meetings. Anyone requiring such services should contact Diane Wilson, at (919) 707-6073, as early as possible so that arrangements can be made.
For individuals who speak only Spanish or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, interpretive services will be available at the meeting upon request. For more information, call 1-800-481-6494 prior to the meeting.
June 2016 Public Meetings & Comment
NCDOT presented the 2014A Bridge on New Location Alternative at public hearings June 20-22, 2016, in Ocracoke, Rodanthe and Manteo. Responses to public and resource agency comments received at and following the public hearings are included in the Record of Decision.
|Revised Environmental Assessment approved
||May 24, 2016
|Record of Decision issued
||Dec. 15, 2016
||June 20-22, 2016
|Design-build contract awarded
||April 27, 2017
|Right of way acquisition begins
* Future dates are preliminary and subject to change
2016 Public Hearing Documents
Revised Environmental Assessment (May 2016)
Detailed study alternative maps:
Environmental Assessment (December 2013)
Public Hearing Maps (January 2014)
Nora McCann, E.I.T.
Project Development Engineer
Send a message
1548 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1548
Resources for Local Property Owners
In many cases, it is inevitable that a certain amount of private property must be acquired. The displacement of homes and businesses is minimized to the extent practicable. The following brochures will answer questions about this process.