RALEIGH – The four-wheeled drive only access area of N.C. 12 has re-opened for daylight travel only, following an early morning accident that killed one North Carolina Department of Transportation employee.
Because safety is NCDOT’s top priority, NC 12 access will be closed to traffic at dark. The area is remote, and current road conditions are more challenging to navigate at night. NCDOT is currently working with local officials to develop options for traveling along this stretch of N.C. 12 that will provide additional travel times. Until such options have been developed and approved, N.C. 12 will be open during the daylight hours for four-wheel drive vehicles only.
The emergency four-wheeled drive access route was re-opened to residents and visitors for the first time since the storm Saturday afternoon. It offers one lane in each direction, except at the temporary bridge and the Bonner Bridge, where it narrows to a single lane for vehicles traveling in both directions
37-year-old Michael Brad Stevenson was killed in the early morning accident, which occurred just south of the Oregon Inlet, on a section of N.C. 12 being repaired after Hurricane Sandy and the recent Nor’easter.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Stevenson family during this extremely difficult time,” said NCDOT Secretary Gene Conti. “The men and women who work to keep N.C. 12, and all of our highways, safe and open for travel are special people. When something like this happens, it hits all of us in the DOT family hard.”
Stevenson, a resident of Hertford, N.C., was a transportation worker in Pasquotank County and had worked for NCDOT for approximately 15 years. He is survived by his wife and their three children.
“Brad had worked for the department for over 15 years, ” said Jerry Jennings, Division 1 Engineer. “He was excellent equipment operator and a very loyal and dedicated employee – the kind of person everyone liked to work with.”
The accident took place in the early morning hours and involved Stevenson and one other NCDOT employee who was injured. Both were operating dump trucks. The State Highway Patrol is currently investigating.
In an abundance of caution, NCDOT officials, working with local authorities, have modified the hours that N.C. 12 will be open to four-wheel drive vehicles.