Sundae Horn
Ocracoke Current stories are paved with good intentions. We hope Gary Davis doesn't mind that we stole his photo!
Ocracoke Current stories are paved with good intentions. We hope Gary Davis doesn't mind that we stole his photo!

Re-surfacing will begin Monday, October 6th on roads more and less traveled.

According to Randy Midgett, NCDOT District Engineer, the project will start Monday, and "if the weather's good, the ferries are running, there's no rain… A lot needs to work in our favor, but it could be done as early as the 22nd or 23rd." 

Twelve routes ("a good majority of roads")(none of them Hwy. 12) in the village are getting re-surfaced, including one rocky, dirt path, Pintail Drive, which will have asphalt for the first time ever! 

RPC is the contractor, and will be bringing two truckloads of hot asphalt across each run the ferry makes from Hatteras all day long. 

The re-paving project as supposed to happen in the spring before the tourist season, but was postponed due to the dredging in the ferry channel.

"We were waiting for the ferry to go back to the original route," Midgett said. "It's easier for the contractor to keep the asphalt hot in the short route."

Realizing that we are all stuck with the long route, the DOT roads division had a meeting with the DOT ferry division and decided October was the best time of year to do the job. 

"They are still running almost as many ferries, but there's not as much traffic," he explained. 

Asphalt, it turns out, has to be heated at the RPC plant in Kitty Hawk and brought down to the worksite still hot. It's about 200 degrees while it's traveling. Who knew?

Two by two, the trucks will board the ferry, dump their loads, and head back for more, with two more trucks just behind them. The hot stuff gets put through the paver, then rolled flat. Parents of small children will probably be forced to watch this fascinating process with their offspring. It's even more exciting than a backhoe! 

This DOT project will include improvements to the ferry stacking lanes at the north end of Ocracoke. The ferry lanes will not only be re-paved and re-painted, the DOT also plans to "reverse the crown" of the pavement so that water will run off to the edge and not create ponds where people have to park. The new pavement will continue south on Hwy. 12 to the "joint in the road" where the last post-hurricane paving project ended. 

Hyde County judiciously chose to allocate all its DOT road fixing funds to Ocracoke this year. Potholes along roadsides have become hazards to drivers, bikers, pedestrians, and golf carters, and have been the source of much complaining to the powers that be.

For a heads-up about where the new paving will happen, look for the roads where dirt has been scraped off and piled onto the shoulders. DOT will tidy up after themselves grading or removing the dirt as needed after paradise has been paved.