4WD Access Re-Opened but Susceptible to Overwash

Updated 7 years ago Press Release

Four-wheel drive access on Pea Island along N.C. 12 is open again, following closure due to ocean overwash this morning.

Access is expected to be closed intermittently during upcoming storms, and could occur with very little advance notice due to rapidly changing weather conditions.

“Whenever we have high tides and strong winds, the possibility of dangerous traveling conditions due to overwash increases greatly,” said NCDOT Division Engineer Jerry Jennings. “NCDOT crews and contractors are working hard to restore N.C. 12, but we are at the mercy of the weather.”

The N.C. Department of Transportation advises motorists who plan on driving this stretch of road to call 511 or go to the department’s travel information website to check road conditions before they travel. They can also receive real-time travel information by following NCDOT on Twitter at www.ncdot.gov/travel/twitter/

Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles should expect a rough ride, which will include traveling over sand, damaged pavement and some water. On the sandy portions of the route, they will follow lane markers comprised of barrels, cones and/or flags.

NCDOT asks motorists to follow these important safety measures on the four-wheel drive access:

  • Only drive four-wheel drive vehicles with a high ground clearance. Cross-over four-wheel drive vehicles that are lower to the ground may get stuck in the rugged terrain;
  • If you drive at night, use extreme caution. There will be no lights staged along the route, so your vehicle’s headlights will offer the only way for you to see;
  • Drive slowly;  
  • Pay close attention to the temporary traffic signals; and
  • All four-wheel drive vehicles are encouraged to lower tire pressure to minimize the chances of becoming stuck.

The four-wheel drive access is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Because of the hazardous driving conditions, Dare County first responders are escorting drivers before dawn and after dusk when the road is accessible to traffic. 

UPDATE: Ocracoke residents and Facebook users report that the road opened this afternoon, and has been safely navigated. We'll update again if the road closes again. Please be aware of high tide, when it is most likely to close.

Original story: Wednesday, November 14: Four-wheel drive access on Pea Island along N.C. 12 is closed due to overwash on the roadway.

Crews will assess the situation and reopen the road once it is safe. 

4WD Access Re-Opened but Susceptible to Overwash

Motorists are urged to “know before you go” about traffic conditions along the Outer Banks. For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit our travel page or follow NCDOT on Twitter. More information on NC 12 is available on our NC 12 web page and on the N.C. Ferry page.
Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. To access it, type “m.ncdot.gov” into the browser of your smartphone and bookmark it for future reference. NCDOT Mobile is compatible with the iPhone, Android and some newer Blackberry phones.

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