Wednesday, November 28, 2012

4WD Closure set for Thursday

The large amount of traffic using the four-wheel drive access route on NC 12 at the S-curves, as well as the condition of the sand is forcing us to close the road tomorrow so that crews can  increase the stability of the sand on the north end of the route.  

The maintenance will also help reduce the likelihood of overwash on the access route as well. 

The four-wheel drive access will be closed Thursday, Nov. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The traffic volume and sand conditions also forced NCDOT crews to implement vehicle size and weight restrictions.

Since the four-wheel drive route along N.C. 12 on Pea Island opened, a number of vehicles have gotten stuck in the sand and required a tow truck to get them out. This not only causes delays for the other vehicles using the route, but it also damages the makeshift road.

To help protect access and make traffic flow more efficiently, NCDOT is no longer allowing any vehicle larger than a one-ton truck to use the route. In addition, trucks with trailers are not permitted. Two-wheel drive vehicles are not allowed on the route under any circumstance.

Vehicles who do not meet the weight requirements and/or vehicles with trailers are becoming stuck in the sand, and this causes unnecessary back-ups as tow trucks and heavy equipment remove them.

Those of you who can use the route - please remember - the ride will be rough as you will be traveling over sand, damaged pavement and some water. On the sandy portions of the route, please follow lane markers.

Other important safety measures to take on the four-wheel drive access:

  • Only drive four-wheel drive vehicles with a high ground clearance. Cross-over four-wheel drive vehicles that are lower to the ground may get stuck in the rugged terrain;
  • If you drive at night, use extreme caution. There will are no lights staged along the route, so your vehicle’s headlights will offer the only way for you to see;
  • Drive slowly;   
  • Pay close attention to the temporary traffic signals; and
  • All four-wheel drive vehicles are encouraged to lower tire pressure to minimize the chances of becoming stuck.

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