N.C. 12 four-wheel-drive access to be unpredictable

By on November 14, 2012

Surf washing over N.C. 12 at Mirlo Beach. (NCDOT)

Motorists should expect closings on short notice of an emergency route along N.C. 12 on Hatteras Island because of overwash at Mirlo Beach.

Thursday morning, the four-wheel route was closed, then reopened around noon.

With stormy weather expected through next week, intermittent openings and closings are likely, the N.C. Department of Transportation said.

“Whenever we have high tides and strong winds, the possibility of dangerous traveling conditions due to overwash increases greatly,” NCDOT Division Engineer Jerry Jennings said in a statement. “NCDOT crews and contractors are working hard to restore N.C. 12, but we are at the mercy of the weather.”

The temporary route between the Bonner Bridge and Rodanthe is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., but motorists will be escorted before dawn and after dusk. The section of N.C. 12, which is the only land route on and off Hatteras Island, was damaged during Hurricane Sandy.

Emergency ferries are operating between Rodanthe and Stumpy Point. N.C. 12 south of Rodanthe opened shortly after Sandy.

When the route is open, there is one lane in each direction except at the temporary bridge on Pea Island and the Bonner Bridge. Traffic signals have been set up at both spans to allow one-lane crossings in alternating directions.

The highway department recommends calling 511 for the latest information or following NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter.

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