Whichards Beach Road railroad repairs planned for Tuesday

Published 4:11 pm Monday, June 15, 2020

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Travelers on Whichards Beach Road should expect delays from from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, as the North Carolina Department of Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway coordinate repairs at a railroad crossing. For most residents and two large businesses on the road, the crossing is the only way in or out of the area.

Chris Newkirk, deputy director of Beaufort County Emergency Services, says the repairs will not hinder emergency vehicle traffic on the road, but there may be some delays for residents and commuters.

“It’s not going to be a full closure, per se, like was planned for last time,” Newkirk said. “NCDOT will be working to provide traffic control, and that will mean allowing vehicles to pass at some intervals. There’s going to be one point during the repairs where it’s not going to be possible to allow routine traffic to come through. For emergency traffic, they will stop, move the equipment over and allow emergency services to go through.”

The repairs were originally planned for last November, but the railway ultimately decided to reschedule after local leaders intervened and raised issue with a lack of notice provided to businesses and residents on the road. Newkirk said his office worked with NCDOT to provide better notification this time around.

“We were notified (Monday) morning about 11:30,” Newkirk said. “I personally talked with the Fountain Powerboats and the management at Twin Lakes Campground, because they are the two that can get the word out fastest to those people.”

Newkirk added that Beaufort County Emergency Services also sent out a notification to Whichards Beach Road residents who are registered with the county’s Hyper-Reach system. That system allows county officials to send emergency communications and road condition updates to local residents, based on their address. Area residents can sign up to receive phone call, text message or email notifications here.

Previous coverage:

Local intervention delays railroad crossing closure