By Sam Walker on February 18, 2014
Transportation options to deal with the scheduled closure of N.C. 12 in Frisco the first weekend of March are being discussed, including allowing beach driving as detour and public transportation.
According to a post Monday evening on the N.C. Department of Transportation’s N.C. 12 Facebook page, replacement of the pipe under the road at Peter’s Ditch between Timber Trail and the go-kart track will not allow the road to stay open, and there is no detour available around the project site.
“We have been in contact with Dare County Emergency Management, Dare County Transportation and the planners of the (N.C. Coastal Federation’s) Oyster Festival to come up with a solution to allow access throughout the closure,” according to the post.
The closure is scheduled to last from 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28 through no later than 6 a.m. Monday, March 3.
“While details are not 100% final at this point, plans are in the works for Dare County Transportation to provide scheduled shuttle service to both sides of the closure,” the NCDOT said.
“Riders would be able to use a pedestrian walkway to the side of the project to cross the closure, and then board another transit bus to continue on to their destination.”
National Park Service spokesperson Cyndy Holda said Tuesday they are starting to work on plans to let four wheel drive vehicles use the beach between ramp 45 at Cape Point and ramp 49 at the Frisco Campground and Billy Mitchell Field as a detour.
A stipulation in the current off road vehicle management plan allows for using the beach as a last resort detour for N.C. 12, including areas that are normally closed to ORVs, and permits would not be required in the area of a detour, Holda said.
About one-half mile of beach west of ramp 45 is designated as a vehicle free area under the ORV management plan.
“We do have some issues with the beach being too narrow for two lanes of traffic in that area that we have to work out,” Holda said.
A similar detour was set-up in the winter of 2008 on Ocracoke Island, when seven bridges carrying N.C. 12 over creeks in Cape Hatteras National Seashore were replaced in 74 days.
Park Service staff were tasked Tuesday to work with the NCDOT on developing plans for using the beach as a detour, and Holda said they could have a plan in place by the end of this week.