North Carolina Roads - NC 12
Photos are southbound until the very end.
Unless historical markers really thrill you, the first interesting thing I come to is the 1963 Bonner Bridge. You can see construction equipment in the water; the new Oregon Inlet bridge opened in 2016, nearly double the intended lifespan for the Bonner.
Unless sand really thrills you, the first interesting thing I come to on Pea Island is a historical marker.
Hurricane Irene opened a new inlet in Pea Island in 2011, and 2014 wasn't enough time to get anything more than a temporary "Bailey Bridge" in. There's now a permanent one. (To those not in the know, it takes years, not months, to complete design for a long-lasting structure, so this was fast-tracked to the extent feasible.)
The last historical marker is the most interesting and I will briefly turn off to explore said lighthouse.
Until recently, Forest Rd. was the connector south from NC 12 and it intersected Lighthouse Road partway down. They've now been connected in a single smooth alignment. This is the stub of old Lighthouse Rd. west to where the new alignment cuts it off.
Lighthouse area find.
Leaving the eastern parking area (by the old lighthouse location), this sign is new to the new alignment and comes with both redundancy and a brown highway shield.
Entering Hatteras, there must be some special touristy significance to it being at Mile 71, so NCDOT gave tourists a selfie-milepost while maintaining a real one just beyond.
Bear left at the fish or find yourself on Kohler Rd.
Post-ferry from Hatteras, I am now on Ocracoke Island. There's another ferry off the south end of the island, so it is the only completely isolated section of state highway in North Carolina. The segment north of Pea Island is only accessible from bridges but technically is a long peninsula from Virginia.
The NB faces of those same signs by the southern ferry. The second one is brand new.
This is across the ferry at the northern end of the first section of NC 12 (on Cedar Island) and can be clicked on for closeup.
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