Ocracoke on agenda for next NC 12 Task Force subcommittee

Published 6:22 am Thursday, November 4, 2021

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Next week, the NC 12 Task Force subcommittee will meet with Ocracoke on the agenda.

Providing long-term vehicle ferry access to Ocracoke village from the ferry dock at the north end of the island is troublesome.

The shoreline is rapidly eroding at the current docking facility. The stacking circle is closed down. Waiting vehicles back up on the northbound lane of NC 12. Additionally, dredging for ferry transit is constant and a portion of NC 12 toward Ocracoke village is protected by a mile of sandbags and deluged by sand and water in storms.

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One solution has already been submitted to NCDOT. That long-range solution would move the dock to a bridge extending past the reef where the Pamlico Sound water is deep, eliminating dredging. The bridge would land around the pony pens.

But that solution presents potential economic problems for Ocracoke. The transit time for the alternative ferry dock location is much longer, threatening the island’s day-trip economy.

At its last meeting, Oct. 14, the subcommittee looked at four alternatives for the stretch of Cape Hatteras National Seashore between Frisco and Hatteras villages. The long-term alternatives were developed for a NCDOT Feasibility Study, dated February 2016.

The committee settled on building a bridge starting just past the Frisco Bathhouse and moving a slight distance away from the existing road, perhaps into the Pamlico Sound. The map shows the bridge or approach going into Hatteras village. The narrative in the feasibility study says the project would end a half mile north of Elizabeth Avenue. A half-mile north of Elizabeth Avenue puts the project end about at the Welcome to Hatteras Village sign.

Short-term protection would come from beach nourishment.

The subcommittee is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021 at the Dare County Administration Building, located at 954 Marshall C. Collins Dr. in Manteo.