Despite a forced delay caused by the federal government shutdown, parking areas at the new Buxton Day Use Area and at Kite Point are scheduled to be open by late May, per the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Chief of Maintenance John Kowlok.
Buxton Day Use Area
The new parking area at the end of Old Lighthouse Road is being constructed in two phases. Phase one of the Buxton Day Use Area is set to be complete and open by Memorial Day.
The first phase of the project includes clearing the road and opening the entrance to the site, as well as installing roughly 50 parking spaces, and a portable “Mobi-mat” walkway to provide handicapped access. Sand fencing will also be installed at several small portions of the site where potential pollutants were identified by an examination contracted by the U.S. Coast Guard several years ago.
The second phase is a more costly endeavor, with a construction estimate of $355,526, and does not have a concrete start date. During the second phase of the project, a comfort station, or public restrooms, will be installed, with four stalls for women, and two stalls and two urinals for the men’s portion of the station. The parking spaces will also be striped, or outlined, during the second phase of the project.
The site where the parking area is being established was once the home of the Naval Facility Cape Hatteras, which was in operation from January 1956 until it was decommissioned in June 1982. The site was then transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard where it eventually served as a housing complex, and was later transferred to the National Park Service.
Kite Point Soundside Access
Cape Hatteras National Seashore also reports that the Kite Point parking project is starting imminently, as the contractor is currently mobilizing and staking out the site. Construction will begin in earnest by the end of February, and the project is scheduled to be complete by mid-May, assuming the weather cooperates.
The Kite Point parking lot is being established on the soundside, just south of the current Haulover Day Use Area. The parking area will have spaces for about 50 cars, as well as a paved entrance and a hard-packed surface utilizing clay and shells instead of pavement.
Both the Kite Point parking area and the new Buxton Day Use Area were earmarked as two out of 29 potential projects that were identified in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Proposal to Facilitate Additional Public Beach Access Project in June of 2013.
This story is provided courtesy of the Island Free Press, a digital newspaper covering Hatteras and Ocracoke islands. Coastal Review Online is partnering with the Free Press to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest along our coast.