Crews on Monday will begin work to remove pavement and protective sandbags on a two-mile former section of N.C. 12 known as the S-Turns.
Portions of the road that are being removed are bypassed by the new Rodanthe ‘Jug Handle’ Bridge, which opened to traffic July 28.
A cul-de-sac has been constructed at the end of the old N.C. 12 at Mirlo Beach, which is accessible from the roundabout at the southern foot of the bridge.
No parking is allowed anywhere alongside the roadway in Mirlo Beach. The closest access with public parking to the stretch of beach and popular surf break with the same moniker is 1.5 miles away at the northern foot of the bridge.
The S-Turns area had been one of the most vulnerable sections of N.C. 12, periodically facing ocean overwash that forced closures of the highway during nor’easters and tropical weather events.
In fact, the bypassed area has been covered in water and sand three times in the last month, during tidal surges caused by hurricanes Earl, Fiona and Ian.
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Work to remove the pavement and sandbags is expected to take about six weeks. Once the removal is complete, the area will be returned to the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, per NCDOT’s original easement agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Crews will be able to complete the work without disrupting traffic on N.C. 12.
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