Lighthouse Road in Buxton in June. Photo by Joy Crist.

Single-lane closures and brief travel delays should be expected in the next few weeks as concrete work progresses on a new multi-use pathway along Lighthouse Road in Buxton.

The single-lane closures will not affect N.C. Highway 12, and will only impact traffic heading to and from the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, the lifeguarded Buxton Beach, the Cape Point Campground, and ORV Ramps 43 and 44.

The first 1.25-mile-long phase of the new Cape Hatteras Lighthouse pathway is expected to be completed by late summer or early fall, and will connect N.C. Highway 12 to the lighthouse and Buxton Beach. The remaining work includes grading, concrete pouring, culvert replacements, seeding, painting, crosswalks, and other minor tasks.

Lighthouse Road in Buxton in June. Photo by Joy Crist.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Pathway project officially broke ground in November 2023, but it’s an endeavor that has been decades in the making.

In 1984, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) prepared a General Management Plan that featured a range of proposed projects in the Buxton area, including a multi-use pathway on Lighthouse Road.

The project gained momentum in 2022 with a public comment period on the proposed designs, and in September 2023, a $3.2 million contract was awarded to Terra Site Constructors LLC of Virginia to build the new pathway. Thanks to the National Park Service, funding from the Federal Highway Administration, and generous Outer Banks Forever sponsors and donors who contributed a total of $360,000, the new pathway has been fully funded.

This initial 10 to 12-foot-wide paved pathway extends from N.C Highway 12 to the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, with a crossing near the pond on Lighthouse Road.

Once the pathway connects with the Old Lighthouse Beach parking area, it skims through the parking lot to create a direct link from the roadway to the lighthouse – following the same route the lighthouse took when it was moved 2,900 feet in 1999.

There are also five interpretive panel areas – or plazas – planned for the pathway that will outline the history of the area, the lighthouse move, and other stories that connect with the Buxton site and the Outer Banks.

Eventually, the pathway will extend all the way from N.C. Highway 12 to the Cape Point Campground – a phase of the project that will also entail elevating the often-flooded section of Lighthouse Road near ORV Ramps 43 and 44.

While the specific start dates for the next two phases have not been determined, once the first phase is complete in several months, the public will have a new and safer way to explore one of the Outer Banks’ most famous attractions and Buxton destinations.

For more information:

To learn more about “Pathways to Your National Parks,” and how you or your business can support this project, visit www.obxforever.org/pathways or email Jessica Barnes, Director of Outer Banks Forever, at JessicaBarnes@OBXForever.org.

Pathway route near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. NPS image.

 

The post Single-lane closures should be expected on Lighthouse Road in Buxton as pathway project continues appeared first on Island Free Press.

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