Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Permanent Solutions

NCDOT staff and partners met today to begin work on the long-term solutions for the section of N.C. 12 hard-hit by Hurricane Irene.

You can read more here about the session, but here are some of the options discussed:
For fixing the largest Pea Island breach:
  • Beach renourishment;

  • Constructing a bridge within the existing easement; and

  • Building a bridge or road on a new location.

For fixing problems areas near Rodanthe:
  • Beach renourishment;

  • Building a bridge where the road now stands; and

  • Constructing a bridge or road on a new location.

Some of the next steps in the overall process:
  • Holding a panel discussion with experts in the fields of coastal science and engineering to learn about the changes in conditions along N.C. 12 resulting from Hurricane Irene, identify issues and constraints associated with future maintenance of the highway, and provide engineering advice on design parameters for long-term solutions at the two breach sites;

  • Hosting public meetings to formally present the options to citizens, gather their input and answer their questions;

  • Providing all feedback to the Merger Team and securing support to begin the permitting process; and

  • Presenting a realistic, fundable, buildable design plan to Gov. Perdue.

The process to develop permanent solutions for the two breaches on N.C. 12 is a continuation of work already under way as part of the Bonner Bridge Replacement Project. Phase one of the project involves replacing the 2.7-mile bridge over Oregon Inlet, which is currently in the design stage. The project also includes an active coastal monitoring program that uses scientific data to determine what types of improvements are needed on N.C. 12 between Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and Rodanthe and when that work will occur. Using this program, NCDOT will enact phase two of the project, which will permanently fix the areas damaged by Hurricane Irene.


  1. What is the short term solution for the south end of the new Bridge? Without a dune line protecting the Road any moderate Noreaster will send swell right up against the road itself.

    Thanks, John Head

  2. Good question, John. And you're right - there's really no room within the right of way to build a dune. However, we did place sandbags within the shoulder of the road through these areas to minimize erosion.