N.C. Route 12 on Ocracoke Sept. 8, 2019. Photo courtesy of NC DOT

From our news sources, Sept. 19, 2019. 11:27 a.m.

After catastrophic roadway damage from Hurricane Dorian on Ocracoke Island, the N.C. Department of Transportation will soon award an emergency contract that aims to have N.C. 12 reopened on the island before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

NCDOT has already coordinated with the National Park Service and other permitting agencies regarding the work and developed a detailed repair plan for the highway. An onsite, pre-bid meeting was held with potential contractors Tuesday. The department hopes to award a contract by early next week, with construction work beginning soon thereafter.

“Highway 12 is a critical lifeline for Ocracoke and the Outer Banks,” said NCDOT Division 1 Engineer Jerry Jennings. “It’s a priority for us to get the road reopened and help the people of Ocracoke Island recover from this devastating hurricane.”

The work will involve sandbag installation, a reconstruction of the dune line protecting the roadway, and complete rebuilding of about 1,000 feet of roadway. The N.C. Ferry Division’s Dredge Manteo will pump sand from the old Hatteras ferry channel to supply sand for the reconstruction of the dune.

The timeline for reopening could change due to weather conditions, but the contract will target a date of Nov. 22 for reopening the roadway, with incentives for opening early. The final contract completion will be April 30, to include completion of dune reconstruction, planting dunes with sea grass, and placement of final pavement surface and markings.

Ocracoke is still under a mandatory evacuation with various restrictions on who can access the island via Hatteras, Swan Quarter and Cedar Island. 

This washed out section of N.C. 12 at the north end of the island is at low tide. Photo by Rob King
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