As many of you know, the NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) has long planned to add a new bridge, the Rodanthe bridge, to bypass the infamous Highway 12 S-turns and improve access to Hatteras Island. The power delivered to Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands is exclusively provided by the transmission line that runs parallel to the existing highway. Once NCDOT completes the Rodanthe bridge and traffic is shifted, they will immediately begin removing the asphalt, dunes and sandbags that are in the current highway right of way, leaving our transmission line exposed to the elements and not easily accessible.
Consequently, we need to install our transmission line under the new bridge. CHEC has awarded a contract to New River Electrical to complete the job of installing the hanger, conduit, and cables under the bridge. Work has already begun to install the hanger and conduit system and will continue until early summer 2022. We will pause on-bridge work during the summer months and resume after Labor Day, hoping to complete the cable pull by the end of 2022. The new line will be energized in 2023.
This website will be updated frequently with photos, press releases, timeline updates and anything else that we need to communicate about the project. You can also follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for project updates and photos.
December 2021: Conduit & hanger installation begins.
New River Electrical’s subcontractor, Aptus, will work to install the conduit & hanger system underneath the bridge. This work will continue until May 2022.
February 2022: NCDOT's tentative opening of bridge to traffic.
Once NCDOT shifts traffic onto the new bridge, work to install the conduit & hanger system will continue, requiring minor traffic delays during daylight hours, Mondays through Fridays.
June 2022: On-bridge work stops.
Our contractors will halt on-bridge work in early summer, as not to disrupt summer tourist traffic. During the summer months, crews will work on transitions at the north and south ends of the project.
September 2022: On-bridge work to install cable begins.
After Labor Day, New River Electrical will work to pull cable through the conduit. Work will be done from the bridge, requiring minor traffic delays during daylight hours, Mondays through Fridays.
December 2022 Cable installation complete.
Crews are expected to complete the cable installation and required splicing by the end of 2022.
February - March 2023: New cable is energized.
Crew will energize the new cable in early 2023. This work will be dependent on the electrical load of the islands. CHEC will communicate any planned outages that may be required for this final task.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this project necessary?
Put simply, we need to keep the lights on. If we do not move the transmission line to the new bridge, power will eventually be disrupted as our existing overhead line will be exposed to Hatteras Island's extreme coastal environment and inaccessible to CHEC as NCDOT removes the asphalt, dunes and sandbags that are currently in place. Our cooperative is dedicated to providing reliable electric service in the face of these perpetual challenges, and this project is just one example of how we do so.
When does it start?
Contract crews have already begun work to install the hanger and conduit system under the bridge. This work will continue until early summer. From June through Labor Day, we will take a break from on-bridge work, when summer tourist traffic is highest. Work will resume in September and will likely run until the end of the 2022.
What effect will this work have on traffic to and from the island?
You should expect minor delays traveling to and from the island starting when NCDOT opens the new bridge to traffic, currently slated for February 2022. These minor delays will run through the early summer. The summer season greatly increases traffic so we will pause our on-bridge work from June until September, eliminating traffic delays. Work will resume after Labor Day and will run until December, requiring minor delays similar to what we experience during work in the spring.
What hours and days will traffic be affected?
Crews will work during daylight hours, between 7a.m. and 7p.m., Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays, the work will run from 7a.m. to mid-afternoon. No work will be done between Friday afternoon and 7a.m. on Mondays.
What kind of traffic delays should I expect?
Because only one line of traffic can flow at a time, please anticipate a delay of 5 - 10 minutes as you traverse the bridge to and from the island. Traffic will be controlled by the construction team we have hired to move the transmission line. Of course, we'll work with them to help ensure delays are kept to a reasonable limit.
Why can't the work be done at night?
It is too dangerous. Although it would be more convenient for residents and visitors if the work could take place after sunset, there are too many hazards when working to install transmission equipment on a bridge over open water at night.
How can we stay updated on the project?
We will update this page regularly with the latest information about the project and any impacts to our members. Additionally, you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates. Photos of the project will also be shared on our Instagram.