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New Kite Point parking lot improves safety

A new 50-vehicle parking lot at Kite Point was formally opened May 1 with a ribbon cutting.

The facility has so far eliminated parking on the NC 12 shoulder by those kiteboarding in the Haulover area between Avon and Buxton.

Safety was a primary concern for building the parking area, reported David Hallac, superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. Vehicles were parked along the NC 12 shoulder at access points for kiteboarders while vehicular traffic sped by at 55 miles per hour and up. Plans for the facility have been around since 2013.

Hallac thanked great partners in bringing the new facility to fruition: REAL Watersports, Michael Scott, Cape Hatteras Electric Membership Cooperative and North Carolina Department of Transportation for design.

Trip Forman, co-owner of REAL Watersports, called the opening a “great day.”

Kiteboarding came to Hatteras Island in 1998, said Forman. Kiteboarding moved to Kite Point so windsurfing could use the Haulover parking lot and beach area and so kites could be launched farther away from electric transmission lines.

Hatteras Island is now firmly planted in the world as the best place to kiteboard, said Forman. Hatteras Island’s consistent winds, shallow water and “nearly unlimited access to water” are the outstanding features luring kiteboarders.

The parking lot, with a clay base and shell surface, has space for 50 vehicles. The size is 72 feet by 250 feet. The contractor was Yerkes South, Inc. of Pensacola, Fla. and the total cost was $450,000.

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