With $2 million spent yearly clearing NC 12, could new infrastructure bill provide long-term fix?

North Carolina news

OUTER BANKS, N.C. (WAVY) — On Friday, the North Carolina Department of Transportation set up barriers closing down N.C. 12 from the Basnight Bridge to Rodanthe.

Recent bad weather and high tides broke down sand dunes, turning that stretch of the key highway into a slush of sand and saltwater.

NCDOT officials said crews are hard at work, but the road likely won’t open until some time on Tuesday.

N.C. 12 is the only link from Hatteras Island to the northern Outer Banks.

These closures happen so often after big weather events, they almost feel routine.

Each year, the state spends about $2 million cleaning up N.C. 12 after storms. Earlier this year, Dare County leaders created a task force to find short- and long-term solutions to the problem.

Task force leader Bob Woodard said they’re making progress but are still a few months away from having a master plan to present to the public. Woodard says they hope to have the plan ready by January.

“The goal is to try to mitigate the issue to the best of our abilities and of course that’s going to take substantial funding,” said Woodard.

On Friday, the House passed the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill. The measure allocates money for roads and bridges.

Woodard said county leaders are making plans to travel to Washington, D.C. to figure out how to secure some of those funds for Dare County projects such as N.C. 12.

Woodard also pointed out that current projects, like beach renourishment, are just as important.

“This storm we’ve had has really done a number in Buxton. We had a nourishment program we did a couple of years ago and if it hadn’t have been for that, the damages would have been much greater this storm,” Woodard said.

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