Dare County, N.C. (WTKR) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning to replace a temporary bridge on N.C. 12 in Dare County with a new permanent span.
The temporary metal bridge covers a part of the roadway where Hurricane Irene cut through N.C. 12 on Pea Island.
The project to replace that temporary span was advertised to contractors last week after NCDOT received the Record of Decision for the new bridge from the Federal Highway Administration.
The new span will elevate N.C. 12 onto a permanent bridge extending from just north of the temporary bridge to 2-miles south.
Jason Heilig, owner of the Rodanthe Surf Shop, is pleased to hear that permanent solutions are coming for N.C. 12.
He says the roadway is a lifeline for those who live and work on Hatteras Island and they constantly worry about what another big storm could mean for the fragile roadway.
"Without a doubt it's a step in the right direction. That's key to convert that on over to a permanent structure," Heilig explained. "We're always wondering - I wonder what's going to happen this time. I wonder where it will breach this time."
NCDOT will award the contract for the work in early December, with construction to start as early as January 6, 2014 once state and federal permits are approved.
Traffic could start flowing across the new span in late 2017.