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 NCDOT.org/travel/nc12recovery.

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

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