Mirlo Madness

The road conditions at Mirlo Beach continue to plague NCDOT, as well as residents of Hatteras Island. It’s an issue that has been ongoing during the decades that I’ve lived here, and longer.

In the past several years the problem has accelerated and occurs more frequently. NCDOT’s reaction has been to perform the same repairs over and over again. They dig overwashed sand from the road surface, and pile it seaward to build a dune. Storms wash over the dune, moving the sand back onto the road.

The recent storm that moved off the coast buried the road and left standing water on the surface. I put my boots on and walked there to document the scene in photographs… again.

A number of homeowners in the Mirlo Beach subdivision have been trying to repair their condemned rental properties in hopes generating income. A pile of newly delivered lumber lies washed up in the sand. The approach taken to save Mirlo and highway 12 is not working.

The sign at Mirlo has become a contradiction.

NCDOT’s tools of preference for a fix is heavy equipment, but it’s no match against the power of the sea.

A front end loader is dwarfed in the environment.

An excavator removes sand from the road surface, and piles it on top of a huge sandbag barrier.

A bit of optimism is expressed in adversity.

Vehicles endure the salt water to access the island. During periods of high storm tides, the road is impassable.

The loosing battle continues.

A fixer upper stands tall in a setting sun.

2 thoughts on “Mirlo Madness

  1. Beth

    Any reason as to why they don’t simply build a bridge? It has been clear for years that Mother Nature would like an inlet there! This seems like waste of time, money, and resources when they could simply build a bridge and let the ocean do what she wants to the sand.

  2. j0jgvm89bj Post author

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Another temporary steel bridge at Mirlo, like the one at the Irene inlet on Pea Island, would help.
    Instead NCDOT is working on a more permanent replacement of that temporary Pea Island bridge.
    A dozen years or so ago, a long causeway going out over Pamlico Sound was approved and even funded, I think.
    Because some state and local politicians didn’t want it, the project was turned down.
    So it looks like more waiting for solutions.

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