With asphalt removal, Rodanthe Bridge project is heading for the finish line

Published 8:14 am Thursday, October 20, 2022

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On Monday, October 10, contractors started removing asphalt from two miles of NC 12 north of Rodanthe. A week later, the big milling machine had chewed up 1,000 feet of the full width of the infamous S-curves on NC 12.

The slightly vibrating machine moved across a 650-foot buffer for a turtle nest on the ocean beach and broke up a seven-foot-wide path from the old Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge sign to the north end of the Rodanthe Bridge.

The new Rodanthe Bridge replaces two miles of often-breached dunes and less frequently, storm-caused road destruction.

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Multiple contractors are involved in this estimated six-week project. Flatiron Construction Corp. is the general contractor for the Rodanthe Bridge. Flatiron subcontracted with the Fred Smith Co. from Raleigh for the task of removing NC 12 asphalt. Fred Smith subcontracted with Delta Contracting, Inc., an asphalt milling specialist.

The roadway has a depth of asphalt measuring from nine to 12 inches.

A huge milling machine with a three-foot diameter drum with spikes grounds the pavement into small pieces and conveys the crumbles to waiting dump trucks. On Monday, Oct. 17, some 12 to 16 dump trucks were catching the asphalt and hauling the loads to the landfill in Manns Harbor or the NCDOT yards in Buxton and Manteo. Multiple companies are providing dump trucks including Affordable Bill’s, Hatchell Concrete, Northeastern Trucking and Crumb Construction. Independent truckers are also hauling the asphalt away.

The milling process doesn’t quite pull up all the asphalt, so a dozer and excavator follow the milling machine to pick up the remainder.

For the project to start, NCDOT had to move accumulated sand from the road surface. The last of three storms deposited six feet of ocean sand on the road surface. The sand was shoved in two rows to the sound side of the old road.

This week, contractors will start removing the 1,600 to 1,700 feet of sandbags from the national refuge beaches.

On the bridge itself, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative contractors have finished installing conduit and running and splicing cable. On Oct. 10 and 11, each of four new lines were tested. The cooperative awaits final results, but on-the-ground observers report no problems.

The cooperative will alert members when the switch to the new lines happens as brief power outages will be necessary.



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