On Saturday, Nov. 10, four-wheel drive vehicles were able to travel along N.C. 12 on Pea Island after N.C. Department of Transportation crews opened an emergency access route for them. This marks the first time NCDOT has opened the highway to residents and visitors since damage from Hurricane Sandy forced the closure of N.C. 12 from south of the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe on Oct. 28.
The route offers one lane in each direction, except at the temporary bridge and the Bonner Bridge, where it narrows to a single lane for vehicles traveling in both directions. The department placed temporary traffic signals at each bridge to regulate traffic flow safely.
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If you're going to use the route, just keep these safety tips in mind:
- Only four-wheel drive vehicles with a high ground clearance should use the route. 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 be 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 four temporary traffic signals.
NCDOT urges motorists to be aware that are traveling through an active work zone and use caution to ensure that they, as well as construction crews, remain safe.