Group narrows options to fix N.C. 12 on Pea Island

By on December 16, 2011

Construction of the temporary bridge at the new inlet. (NCDOT)

The North Carolina Department of Transportation met with state and federal agency representatives on Thursday to discuss design options for long term solutions for the breaches caused by Hurricane Irene that damaged N.C. 12 on Pea Island.

According to a NCDOT news release, the group known as the Merger Team, reached a general consensus to narrow down the options at Pea Island Inlet and the Mirlo Beach area north of Rodanthe.

“There are laws and regulations associated with some of the options that we are not likely to be able to meet,” said NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Jim Trogdon.

“By focusing our efforts on the most realistic options, we can more efficiently develop long-term fixes for N.C. 12 that will provide a reliable way for people to get to jobs and education,” Trogdon said.

At the Pea Island breach, the general consensus reached by the Merger Team includes eliminating the beach nourishment option, as well as the options to build a new road or bridge west of where N.C. 12 is currently.

The remaining option would allow NCDOT to build a bridge where the road now stands.

At the Mirlo Beach area, the Merger Team generally agreed to eliminate the beach nourishment option.

The remaining options include building a bridge within the easement and building a bridge that would extend into the Pamlico Sound.

NCDOT also agreed to work on another potential option suggested by representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service involving a bridge from north of the Pea Island breach, through the Pamlico Sound, to Rodanthe.

That proposal is conceptual in nature, and NCDOT will meet with USFWS in the coming days to more concretely map it out.

Public comments on the proposals are being taken in writing through Jan. 20, 2012 via email and online comments at

A public workshop on the proposals is scheduled for Jan. 5, 2012 in Ocracoke.

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Salvo Jimmy

December 20, 2011 7:05 am

The long bridge would be another problem.

The below is from the CBBT web site. That is basically the same length (0.2 mile difference) than the long bridge would be. CBBT is not a designated evacuation route because of wind restrictions. The same would be a problem for the long bridge. It’s the exposure vs length that is the problem.

“Level 1 40 miles per hour. The following types of vehicles will not be allowed to cross the facility during Level 1 wind restrictions: large pick-up campers; camper trailers; house trailers; anything being towed; vehicles with any exterior cargo.”

Note exterior cargo and think cooler racks, hitch hauls and car top carriers.

40 mph is not unusual on the OBX most anytime of year.


December 19, 2011 8:35 pm

Raised roads. More bridges. Longer bridges. Does it not look like the long bridge over the inlet might just make sense after all?


December 19, 2011 11:59 am

Looks like lifting the road and moving it west is the most practical option. Unfortunately the current temporary solution will have make due for at least the next two years. That is if there are no more hurricanes.

Mark Williamson

December 18, 2011 7:44 am

A raised road, (bridge on land), or going around Pea Island are the only long term solutions that will work. Crying for beach nourishment is stupid, costly, and temporary. Ask Warren Judge who will pay for it? Pea Island is doomed, let it go people.

live here YEAR round

December 17, 2011 7:44 am

Leave it all up to NPS and FWS and CAMA and the only ones left standing will be a couple of plovers somewhere.


December 16, 2011 7:10 pm

Oh, no, they’re meeting with FWS—-there goes any reasonable option that favorably considers humans.


December 16, 2011 4:21 pm

This article made me wonder….Who will be the last person to cross bridges to Hatteras Island before it becomes uninhabitable due to rising sea levels? I suspect that person is alive TODAY!

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