Southern Shores road work to begin late July

Published 8:48 am Saturday, July 23, 2022

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Southern Shores council moved quickly through the July 5 agenda, which involved another traffic update, road construction projects and a motion to allow exploration for three different remedies to repair the Trinitie Trail culvert.

Town manager Cliff Ogburn, in his report to council members, said, “We’ve put a pretty strong effort into trying to educate tourists and the visitors that are coming that they’re better off to stay on 12 and 158. NCDOT has helped us with that – they put a sign on the side of the bridge that makes that advisory. Dare County put a sign on this side of the bridge with the same advisory. The mayor’s done videos, pleaded with property managers, has been to the Tourist Bureau to try and make this point – that cars are better off staying on US 158 and NC-12.”

After discussing current traffic mitigation efforts, Mayor Elizabeth Morey responded, “I’m afraid that whatever we do we make it good for some people and not as good or really bad for others. And it just depends on where you live that seems to be the pattern.”

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After discussing the high volume of cars to pass through Southern Shores the previous weekend, council member Matt Neal noted, “I empathize with the individuals on these streets. We had something like 15,000-some cars passing through town – 5,000 of them decided to use the internal town roads to get around. Physically trying to manage and control that traffic within our streets doesn’t appear to be feasible. If it’s more like 12,000 cars it can be done but when it hits that 15,000 number it becomes almost insurmountable.”

The town decided to remove all barricades after a determination that they were not working as well this year, and were causing backups in other areas and reducing EMS access to residential roads.

Ogburn then discussed the road improvements pre-construction meeting with Fred Smith Company. The following streets are scheduled for repair, patching and/or rehabilitation: Hickory Trail, Hillcrest Drive, Trinitie Trail, S Dogwood Trail, Happy Indian Lane, Soundview Trail, 6th Avenue, High Dune Loop, 4th Avenue, 12th Avenue, 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue, Gravey Pond Lane, Turtle Pond Court, Woodland Drive and Mizzenmast Lane.

Work is expected to begin in late July and will take place on weekdays. For a list of the portion of each street scheduled for construction, contact the town or look at the town’s newsletter online:

Next, council members discussed options for replacing the failing culvert over Canvas Back Canal on Trinitie Trail. The town manager suggested that the town invest in an evaluation of which method will best suit their needs.

Engineering firm Kimley-Horn has been asked to prepare conceptual level structure plans for three different alternatives to replace the existing pipe culvert: a cast-in-place reinforced concrete slab bridge, a cored slab bridge and a prefabricated buried arch structure. The conceptual plans will come at a cost of $43,000.

Ogburn estimates that the actual replacement of the culvert could cost $750,000 or up to $1 million. “Before you go down one of those paths of encumbering and spending that much money, this is kind of the first step of making sure you’re applying the right application for that structure,” he said.

Council members approved the proposal.