N.C. Highway 12 (NC 12) is a vital community lifeline as the only north-south roadway through the Town of Duck and north to Corolla, providing daily traffic needs, pedestrian and bicycle access, emergency vehicle access, and storm evacuation.
Portions of NC 12 are subject to flooding from both runoff from heavy rains and areas Inundated by storm surge from the Currituck Sound. These flooding events prohibit north-south travel through and within the Town, blocking daily travel, emergency vehicles, the evacuation route, and pedestrian and bicycle travel. This issue is particularly acute in areas where NC 12 runs adjacent to the Sound at low elevations.
As part of the Town’s Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, phased Infrastructure projects have been occurring whereby sidewalks have been added to both sides of NC 12 throughout the Village, in conjunction with converting the shoulders to formal bike lanes. Three phases of this sidewalk construction have been completed, and a fourth phase designed. The Phase IV project area was about to be put to bid when FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program funding opportunity was released in 2020. The need to elevate the roadway in this location has formed an Integral part of the design and timing discussions for the Phase IV sidewalk project, but funding to raise the road was not previously available. In 2020 with the release and announcement of BRIC funding, the Town was provided with an opportunity to fully fund a truly resilient and complete project.
Learn more about the project by viewing the video below.
This project will improve a portion of Duck Road that is prone to flooding from heavy rains and storm surge from the Currituck Sound while mitigating shoreline erosion at the same time. As part of the Town’s Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan, phased Infrastructure projects have been occurring whereby sidewalks have been added to both sides of NC 12 throughout the Village, in conjunction with converting the shoulders to formal bike lanes.
There is a one quarter-mile stretch of NC 12 at the north end of the Duck Village that routinely experiences surge flooding from Currituck Sound that is additionally threatened by shoreline erosion. For these reasons, Living Shoreline enhancements, roadway flooding Improvements, and erosion control measures have been Identified in the Town's Hazard Mitigation Action Plan, of the Outer Banks Hazard Mitigation plan.
This project will improve a portion of Duck Road by elevating the road and boosting shoreline resiliency.
The project area Includes a section of NC 12 that is the current focus of Phase IV of the Town's sidewalk/bike lane Improvements.
The project area Includes 1,500 linear feet within the NC 12 corridor, from the old Resort Realty building located at 1248 Duck Road to Sunset Grille at 1264 Duck Road.
This section of the roadway Is Immediately adjacent to the Currituck Sound, and ranges in elevation from approximately 2.5' mean sea level to approximately 5' mean sea level.
First, the project Includes nature-based solutions with Living Shoreline Improvements In the form of breakwater sills, marsh protection and restoration, and shoreline stabilization. The sills and marsh restoration areas are designed to avoid Impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation, protect and restore coastal wetland habitat, and result in a green Infrastructure demonstration project within the Town.
Second, the project Includes the Phase IV sidewalk Improvements, extending the modified roadway cross section along this short section of the corridor and completing the bicycle and pedestrian Improvements envisioned In the Town's adopted Comprehensive Pedestrian Plan. The new resilient Infrastructure will connect to existing sidewalk and bike lane facilities in the vicinity of Resort Realty and will link to an existing crosswalk at Sunset Grille. The Sidewalk Project will Incorporate nature-based solutions to Improve stormwater runoff conditions along the roadway by creating an Infiltration trench between the roadway asphalt and the concrete sidewalk.
Third, the project Involves elevating the roadway from resort realty to sunset grill.
Flooding in the project area affects a short but critical stretch of NC 12. The roadway north and south of this section sits at higher elevations, which limits the length of roadway requiring elevation and also provides logical tie-In points.
Finally, a very small portion of the project budget Is dedicated for the design and Installation of six (6) Interpretive signs Intended to educate the public about the design, elements, function, and value of the project to the community. The project Is Identified In and supported by numerous relevant plans and policies, including the Outer Banks Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment, Duck 2027 Vision, Duck Comprehensive & CAMA Land Use Plan.
Funding sources for this very important coastal resiliency project include funds from Federal Emergency Management Agency, N.C. Department of Public Safety, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Dare County Tourism Board, Dare County Soil & Water Conservation.
Fred Smith Company will be performing the construction.
Since this project is occuring along Duck Road, there will be active lane closures during construction. These closures will be communicated daily along with project updates.
While there will be impacts to the flow of traffic, we are optimistic that the long term benefits and protection of infrastructure will outweigh the temporary inconveniences associated with its construction.