EASTERN CAROLINA - As Hurricane Sandy swept up the coast towards New Jersey it chewed up the coastline along the Outer Banks causing millions of dollars in damages.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation says to date, repairs on Highway 12 from Hurricane Sandy totaled $11 million. Because a state of emergency was declared, the federal government is responsible for reimbursing the DOT for damages. DOT employees say most of it has been reimbursed already.
After Sandy raked the coast, Highway 12 was closed for a total of 13 consecutive days. The stretch of roadway was then partially opened until December when all the repairs had been finished.
N.C. D.O.T. employees tell me there are several plans in the works to help prevent damage in the future. The first is a beach re-nourishment project. The planned area would span 26-30 acres located north of Rodanthe. Renourishment would protect the road for about three years.
A more long term solution is also in the works.
"Planning work is taking place to construct a permanent bridge on N.C. 12 on Pea Island at the location of the temporary bridge, as well as construct a permanent bridge on N.C. 12 in Rodanthe at the location of the reconstructed section of road that had previously been washed out during Hurricane Irene," N.C. D.O.T. employees said in a statement.