By Rob Morris on October 10, 2011Six weeks after Hurricane Irene cut two inlets across it, N.C. 12 on northern Hatteras Island reopened Monday.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation built a temporary bridge over the largest inlet in the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and filled a smaller one at Mirlo Beach just north of Rodanthe.
Two other breaches needed to be filled and work progressed around the clock.
“Investing in roads and bridges creates jobs, not just in the construction work, but in moving goods and services to market,” Gov. Perdue said in a statment. “That’s especially true of NC 12, which provides an economic lifeline throughout the Outer Banks. This project was truly a team effort, and we are pleased that the road will finally be open to traffic again.”
The bridge is a two-lane Mabey Universal Bridge with a modular design that allows it to be assembled quickly. Although the bridge is a temporary solution, its strength and durability will allow it to remain in place as long as necessary, the NCDOT said in the statement.
Along the half mile of the bridge, the speed limit has been set at 25 mph.
Some work still has to be done and could require lane closures, the NCDOT said.
It includes: paving the final layer of asphalt at the bridge approaches and the bridge deck; final pavement markings; removing some old asphalt; final grading and grass seeding of the shoulders; and general clean-up and demobilization of equipment.
The state of emergency has been lifted, and the northern Hatteras Island villages of Rodanthe, Waves and Salvo are open. The emergency ferry from Stumpy Point will stop running.
Dare County advised visitors to check with rental management companies about their accommodations. Cleanup has not been completed in some areas.