North Carolina Department of Transportation quickly rebuilt two critical portions of N.C. 12, which trails along the Outer Banks, after Hurricane Irene destroyed nearly 4,300 feet of pavement. The damage done to N.C. 12 also eliminated the only highway connection to the mainland from the Outer Banks, causing many to be stranded.
Most of the damage was done within the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge and also just north of Rodanthe. NDCOT quickly developed and executed a $12 million plan to repair the transportation network, restore the pristine environment, and revive the lifeline to the community. Working swiftly to gather permits and survey the area, NCDOT used sand sources to fill damaged road and repair the protective dune system. All of the work occurred while NCDOT ferries provided access for residents, construction crews, and emergency suppliers. After cooperation with local, state, and federal partners, N.C. 12 opened to traffic 44 days after the hurricane.