N.C. 12 on Ocracoke open to all traffic

Published 7:16 pm Friday, December 6, 2019

OCRACOKE — N.C. Highway 12 on Ocracoke Island reopened to all traffic on Thursday, three months after Hurricane Dorian severely damaged the island and its main road.

The storm came ashore on Sept. 6, destroying the protective dune line between the highway and the ocean, and breaking and buckling about 1,000 feet of pavement on N.C. 12. The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $1.77 million emergency contract to RPC Contractors of Kitty Hawk in late September.

Since then, contractors have been installing sandbags, reconstructing the dune line and completely rebuilding and repaving the roadway. The N.C. Ferry Division’s Dredge Manteo pumped sand from the old Hatteras ferry channel to supply sand for the reconstruction.

A powerful storm impacted the area in mid-November, causing additional damage and delaying the road’s original Nov. 22 reopening date.

“We couldn’t be more pleased that we’re able to reopen this vital lifeline,” said NCDOT Division 1 Engineer Jerry Jennings. “We know how important N.C. 12 is to Ocracoke, and we hope this will help speed the island’s recovery process from Hurricane Dorian.”

Ocracoke Island is now open to all visitors, and the N.C. Ferry Division will begin full service Thursday between Hatteras and Ocracoke’s South Dock terminal on its winter schedule:

From Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 10 p.m., midnight.

From Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:45 p.m., 10:30 p.m., midnight.

Emergency ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Terminal was discontinued Thursday.

Motorists are advised that work to complete the dune line will be ongoing for the next several months, so they should drive with caution to avoid crews and machinery that may be operating on or near the highway. Extreme shoaling forces reduction in Pamlico Sound ferry schedules

Due to extreme shoaling in Bigfoot Slough just outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor, the North Carolina Ferry Division is reducing its schedule for service between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke.

The schedule, began Dec. 4, is as follows:

Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The shoaling, which has caused low water conditions in and around Bigfoot Slough, means that only the smaller Sound Class ferries M/V Carteret and M/V Cedar Island are able to navigate the ferry channel.

The new schedule will remain in place until conditions in the ferry channel improve. The Ferry Division has already reached out to the Army Corps of Engineers to request emergency dredging assistance in the area.

Schedules between Hatteras and Ocracoke are not affected by the shoaling.
For real-time travel information, visit DriveNC.gov or follow NCDOT on social media.