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Jug Handle Bridge/Access to Pea Island

By: Fossilridge
5/28/2020 12:27 PM

Below is the NCDOT response to a question we asked regarding future access to Pea Island once the Jug Handle Bridge is completed. This should be no surprise to anyone, and this response has been provided by NCDOT before. I thought I would share since it was provided to us in writing versus us hearing about it at previous meetings.

"When the bridge is completed, there will be access to the Pea Island beaches at the north and south ends of the bridge.

Near the north end of the bridge, a day-use parking lot will be constructed east of NC 12 in the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.

Near the south end of the bridge, the existing pavement from the Liberty Gas Station to the Southern Boundary of the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge will remain in place. However a parking lot will not be constructed. The road will dead end at the Refuge Boundary with a turn out for vehicles to turn around.

NC 12 will not extend south from the north end of the bridge. The existing pavement from the north end of the bridge to the Southern Boundary of the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge (approximate 1.5 miles ) will be removed.

Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Thank you. "

So...if you had parked along Route 12 and walked over the dunes to fish, shell, surf anywhere in this 1.5 mile vicinity, you won't be doing it after the bridge is finished without an extended walk. Great news if you are physically able and want a secluded section of beach. Not so great if you are not physically able.

I wonder when and where the next section of beach will be restricted?

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By: J4yDubs
5/28/2020 10:21 PM


So...if you had parked along Route 12 and walked over the dunes to fish, shell, surf anywhere in this 1.5 mile vicinity, you won't be doing it after the bridge is finished without an extended walk. Great news if you are physically able and want a secluded section of beach. Not so great if you are not physically able.

I wonder when and where the next section of beach will be restricted?

Fossilridge

This doesn't seem bad to me, but your last sentence makes me wonder. Restricted? What were you expecting after the jug handle was completed? The northern parking lots is actually more than I was expecting.

I expected that the road would be abandoned and nature would reclaim it, possibility with a new inlet if left unchecked.

John

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By: OceanBlue
5/29/2020 11:12 AM



I wonder when and where the next section of beach will be restricted?

Fossilridge


But, as you know being in Salvo, you'll have far better access to HI as S curves (and the areas persistent wash outs) will be bypassed. Visitors will still have pedestrian access to that stretch of Pea Island, so not sure I'd say it's "restricted"... Having said that, that section of pea island may ultimately be inaccessible when mother nature cuts though, again, as it did during Irene.

End of the day, it is a FAR better resolution than Jeff Gleason and team would like.

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By: hatterasnc
5/29/2020 12:08 PM

Ahh, the mention of the SELC! Such fun people, in a slimy sort of way. Actually, SELC ended up getting just what it wanted when it started this in the late '90s. A truly vehicle free area under their control and the puppet jurisdiction of USFWS and NPS. Watch for the trams and bird watching events pop up. Audubon's Wings Over Water will have a permanent place. Yeah...just what they wanted.

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By: Fossilridge
5/29/2020 12:11 PM



This doesn't seem bad to me, but your last sentence makes me wonder. Restricted? What were you expecting after the jug handle was completed? The northern parking lots is actually more than I was expecting.

I expected that the road would be abandoned and nature would reclaim it, possibility with a new inlet if left unchecked.

John

J4yDubs


What they indicated was exactly what I had expected. They will be removing the existing pavement and vehicle access will be restricted along that section of the island. This has been identified by NCDOT before so its no surprise.

What would have been nice, but obviously it was never part of their plan, was your expectation...abandon the road and let nature reclaim it. If this were to happen, at least individuals could access the that stretch of island via ORV and then walk over the dunes versus having to walk the entire way.

And for the record, I am fully capable of making that walk however my parents cannot. This section of beach had a few good holes in the past that my father enjoyed fishing. After the pavement is removed, my father will be restricted and will no longer be able to make the walk.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for the construction of the Jug Handle and look forward to its completion. But I am not for beach access for ALL being taken away.

Ultimately I would rather lose a fishing hole or two so I can better access our house and not drive through salt water.

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By: hatterasnc
5/29/2020 12:16 PM


So...if you had parked along Route 12 and walked over the dunes to fish, shell, surf anywhere in this 1.5 mile vicinity, you won't be doing it after the bridge is finished without an extended walk. Great news if you are physically able and want a secluded section of beach. Not so great if you are not physically able.

I wonder when and where the next section of beach will be restricted?

Fossilridge

This doesn't seem bad to me, but your last sentence makes me wonder. Restricted? What were you expecting after the jug handle was completed? The northern parking lots is actually more than I was expecting.

I expected that the road would be abandoned and nature would reclaim it, possibility with a new inlet if left unchecked.

John

J4yDubs


John, there is a long history of access restrictions on Pea Island that stretches all the way back to the paved road, the transfer of operational control from the NPS to USFWS, the banning of vehicles, the flooding of the lands at the visitor center, the controlled burns to prevent a return of the maritime forest...much to much to post here. Suffice it to say the Pea Island access has been a hot button issue, and any reduction in access is a RESTRICTION. It will be very interesting to see how it is managed now, what will be done with the deeded highway corridor, and what will ultimately happen to the (private) properties in north Rodanthe now that the highway will not be maintained.

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By: Fossilridge
5/29/2020 12:33 PM

Thank you hatterasnc...perfectly stated. I wish I had the capability to articulate my thoughts as you have done. Beer

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By: J4yDubs
5/29/2020 1:42 PM

Thanks for the responses Fossilridge and hatterasnc. I understand your points better now.

John

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By: OceanBlue
5/29/2020 2:37 PM

Ahh, the mention of the SELC! Such fun people, in a slimy sort of way. Actually, SELC ended up getting just what it wanted when it started this in the late '90s. A truly vehicle free area under their control and the puppet jurisdiction of USFWS and NPS. Watch for the trams and bird watching events pop up. Audubon's Wings Over Water will have a permanent place. Yeah...just what they wanted.

hatterasnc


Well....the Island did finally get a bridge we could ride over without having to open every window and release our seatbelt...you know, just in case.

Time will tell if any further commercialization of the "soon to be pavementless" southern part of PI by birding folk will happen. I don't see that happening.

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By: hatterasnc
5/29/2020 3:40 PM



Well....the Island did finally get a bridge we could ride over without having to open every window and release our seatbelt...you know, just in case.

OceanBlue


The bridge happened IN SPITE OF objections, obstructions and litigation by SELC.

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By: hatterasnc
5/29/2020 3:40 PM


By: OceanBlue
5/30/2020 8:08 AM

Correct. Apologies, wasn’t clear on my end. HI, my opinion, realized a significant win over Middleton et al with the Bonner 2.0 decision. The quid pro quo was S Pea Island.

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