N.C. 12 on Ocracoke Island will reopen to all traffic on Thursday, three months after Hurricane Dorian severely damaged the island and its main road.
The storm came ashore on Sept. 6, destroying the protective dune line between the highway and the ocean, and breaking and buckling about 1,000 feet of pavement on N.C. 12. The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $1.77 million emergency contract to RPC Contractors of Kitty Hawk in late September.
Since then, contractors have been installing sandbags, reconstructing the dune line and completely rebuilding and repaving the roadway. The N.C. Ferry Division’s Dredge Manteo pumped sand from the old Hatteras ferry channel to supply sand for the reconstruction.
A powerful storm impacted the area in mid-November, causing additional damage and delaying the road’s original Nov. 22 reopening date.
“We couldn’t be more pleased that we’re able to reopen this vital lifeline,” said NCDOT Division One Engineer Jerry Jennings. “We know how important N.C. 12 is to Ocracoke, and we hope this will help speed the island’s recovery process from Hurricane Dorian.”
Ocracoke Island is now open to all visitors, and the N.C. Ferry Division will begin full service Thursday between Hatteras and Ocracoke’s South Dock terminal on its winter schedule:
From Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m., midnight.
From Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m., 10:30 p.m., midnight.
Emergency ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Terminal will be discontinued Thursday.
Motorists are advised that work to complete the dune line will be ongoing for the next several months, so they should drive with caution to avoid crews and machinery that may be operating on or near the highway.
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.