By Russ Lay on November 29, 2012Dare County Commissioner Allen Burrus said today that high-level North Carolina Department of Transportation officials have told him a deal has been worked out with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to place sand on the beach in front of the troubled “S-curves” in Rodanthe.
According to Burrus, the Corps will receive funds from the Federal Highway Administration. A large Army Corps dredge from Wilmington will be brought off Hatteras Island to pump sand onto the beach.
The section of beach just north of Rodanthe has been plagued by ocean overwash following Hurricane Sandy and a succession of nor’easters. Until this week, repair crews were unable to keep an emergency route for four-wheel-drive vehicles open due to high surf battering two-lane N.C. 12.
Otherwise, Hatteras Island can be reached only by heading south to Ocracoke Island via ferry and taking another ferry to the mainland or by using an emergency ferry between Stumpy Point on the Dare County mainland and Rodanthe.
Burrus said details such as how much sand will be placed and where the sand will come from have yet to be worked out. He said Dare County commissioners are hoping the Corps will not only place sand on the beach from the S-curves south into Rodanthe itself, but also construct a new dune line along the same route.
It is not known yet how much the project will cost.Burrus noted that in addition to the washout at the “S-curves” in recent weeks, the road in Rodanthe at Mirlo Beach has also been breached several times this year and in the past.
Burrus, who represents Hatteras Island on the Dare County Board of Commissioners, said that in the 1980s, the beach in Buxton was widened and improved with new dune construction “and we haven’t had any problems there” with overwash since then.
The commissioner first hinted at the possible solution on Max Radio’s outlets this morning, but it wasn’t until early Thursday afternoon that he received what he felt was official confirmation from NCDOT about the rescue plan for N.C. 12.
Sam Walker contributed to this story.
On the cover: NCDOT photo.