Construction of the Rodanthe “jug handle” bridge is close to completion, North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said Monday.
The highway from the southern portion of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge to northern Rodanthe, including a section known as the S-curves, is susceptible to breaches caused by storms. The bridge was designed to bypass a vulnerable section of N.C.12 once it opens.
After severe beach erosion in 2012 from Hurricane Sandy, the Federal Highway Administration approved emergency relief funds in 2013 for 1.6 million cubic yards from two sandbars in the Atlantic Ocean to nourish the beach as part of the short-term solution to preserve the highway. The work was completed in 2014.
The 2.4-mile Rodanthe bridge project is considered a long-term solution and extends from the southern end of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Pamlico Sound into Rodanthe. The project, along with a bridge project on N.C.12 near the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, is considered part of Phase II of the Bonner Bridge replacement project.