NC 12 Update for 12/15/11
The N.C. Department of Transportation met today with representatives of state and federal agencies to discuss which design options NCDOT should continue to study as viable, long-term solutions for the N.C. 12 breaches on Pea Island and in Rodanthe. The group, called the Merger Team, reached a general consensus to narrow down the options at both breaches.
“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.”
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 Rodanthe breach, 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. At this time, the idea, which involves bridging from north of the Pea Island breach through the Pamlico Sound to Rodanthe, is conceptual in nature, and NCDOT will meet with USFWS in the coming days to more concretely map it out.
The Merger Team must sign a form officially agreeing to narrow the existing options and allow for the inclusion of any new options before the process can go forward. The group expects that to happen within the coming weeks.