Shooting The Breeze


Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!




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Protecting N.C. Highway 12 in Hatteras Village and Miles Beyond – What Can Be Done?

Friday 23 November 2018 at 11:10 pm


On Tuesday, November 13, a group of community and government representatives drove through several feet of recently dumped rainwater to meet in Hatteras village and discuss - appropriately enough - how to keep N.C. Highway 12 open for the long haul.

It’s no secret that N.C. Highway 12 has a number of “hot spots,” or sections of the road where storm surge or heavy rains regularly flood the highway, making it difficult to access.

The tri-villages, northern Hatteras, and northern Ocracoke Island have all been inundated with water at some point in the past few months, due to Hurricane Florence, Tropical Storm Michael, and a few non-tropical storms that brought buckets of rain regardless. In fact, one of the most commonly asked questions by locals after the aforementioned events was “Is Highway 12 passable?” and this question seems to be asked more and more, with every passing storm.

But as anyone involved with the push to replace the Bonner Bridge will tell you, (an endeavor that literally went on for about 20 years), fixing Hatteras and Ocracoke Island’s delicate highway isn’t easy. There are a number of figurative roadblocks that prevent us from installing a few bridges, or relocating the road, or doing another round of beach nourishment, and calling it a day.

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Status Report: Checking in on the Islands’ Big Transportation Projects

Thursday 08 November 2018 at 5:59 pm


Almost exactly two and a half years ago, county and state officials gathered at the base of the Bonner Bridge to ceremoniously dip their shovels in the dirt and mark the launch of the new Bonner Bridge project. And my, how much has changed in just a couple of years’ time.

Since the April 16, 2016 Groundbreaking Ceremony, we’ve already completed one component of the three-pronged project – the new Captain Richard Etheridge Bridge on Pea Island. We’ve also started the Jug Handle Bridge north of Rodanthe, and are just a couple of months away from being able to cruise along the new Bonner Bridge, which is in the final stages of construction.

We’re also close to launching the new passenger ferry from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke, the first of its kind for the North Carolina Ferry System, and have already beta-tested the new Ocracoke village tram service in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.

So with so many projects going on at once, (and at drastically varied levels of completion), let’s check in on the islands’ big transportation projects to see what has been accomplished so far, and what’s still left to do.

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