The North Carolina Department of Transportation is making progress on two improvement projects involving the J.P. Knapp Bridge and U.S. 158, while attempting to minimize impacts on summer travel through the county.
A reconditioning project on the J.P. Knapp Bridge in Coinjock began in March with the removal of approximately 1″ of concrete that had been saturated by road salts. The negative effects of salt on the bridge include corrosion of the reinforcement steel leading to expansion of the steel and the spalling or breaking of the concrete due to moisture, which leads to potholes in the riding surface. Once the saturated concrete was removed, a non-permeable concrete was installed to bring the riding surface back up to grade.
With this initial phase completed, the current phase includes diamond grinding to improve ride-ability, transverse grooving for increased traction, and finishing seals to expansion joints. NCDOT has allotted its contractors a time-frame to finalize work on the Knapp Bridge by mid-August but expects an earlier completion date. To accommodate the heavier seasonal traffic, NCDOT will not allow lane closures on the bridge from Friday through Sunday.
In a separate project, work to resurface U.S. 158 is progressing through lower Currituck and aims to fix the problem of loose gravel on the highway. The issue of loose gravel stems from the previous resurfacing in the fall of 2012. The type of surface installed allows storm water to drain through the top mix to the underlying concrete in order to reduce spray from automobiles and improve traction during wet weather. It has worked well in that regard for several years but the surface has deteriorated over time, producing the loose gravel and leading to numerous problems such as broken windshields and hazardous conditions for motorcycles.
The removal and replacement of the asphalt is occurring in two phases. Phase 1 includes multiple areas south of Grandy, which have already had the old pavement removed. The repaving of these areas with a new surface is scheduled to begin the week of June 24 – 28.
Phase 2 involves the area from Macedonia Church Rd. to the intersection of U.S. 158 and N.C. 168 in Barco. Work is currently underway to remove the old pavement. This is expected to be done by early July. Resurfacing this area will immediately follow, with an overall project completion expected by late July. Lane closures will not be allowed on Saturdays or Sundays. However, northbound lane closures only may be permitted on Friday mornings. An on-site NCDOT traffic monitor will determine if this causes delays in traffic and, if necessary, will remove the lane closure to allow motorists the use of all five lanes on the highway.
The Currituck County School district is preparing for the upcoming 2019-2020 school year. On June 20, 2019, officials provided several key pieces of information for parents and students:
- School calendars for the upcoming school year are posted on the Currituck County Schools’ website. Visit www.currituck.k12.nc.us and then click on the icon that reads “School Calendars”.
- To enroll a new student, visit the school website and click on the “Enrollment” icon. For additional information, contact the Registration Office at 252-453-0205.
- Kindergarten students and students entering 7th grade both have immunization requirements. The current immunization requirements can be found at https://www.immunize.nc.gov/schools/k-12.htm.
- Student athletes need to prepare for upcoming sports seasons by obtaining a sports physical. The paperwork is available on the individual school websites, under “Athletics”. Currituck County High School, in conjunction with Currituck Internal Medicine, is hosting a sports physical clinic on Tuesday June 25, beginning at 4:00 p.m. Physicals are for rising 6th graders through 12th graders. The fee is $10 and must be paid in cash. Please call to get on the patient list at 252-453-0014.
if parents have any questions about the upcoming school year, please call the Currituck County Schools administrative offices at 252-232-2223. The administrative offices are currently operating under summer hours: Monday – Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon.
Currituck County plans to begin construction later this year on a boat museum that will house historic boats and tell the stories of locals who worked and played on waterways in the area. Construction is scheduled to begin after Labor Day and should be completed by the fall of 2020.
The boat museum will be located in Historic Corolla Park, near the Currituck Lighthouse, Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education, and Whalehead.
Citizens can view real-time weather information from locations throughout the county by using one of the online WeatherSTEM stations provided by Currituck County. With a new weather station recently placed at the Carova Beach fire station, there are currently four WeatherSTEM stations in the county controlled by Currituck County Emergency Management. A fifth weather station, located at Currituck Regional Airport, is also available to the public through the WeatherBug network.
Each WeatherSTEM station provides data in a variety of categories, such as temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, lightning strikes, rainfall, barometer, dewpoint, heat index, and wind chill. Radar and satellite images are available, as well as a camera view of the sky to show cloud cover and current conditions.
To view a WeatherSTEM station, click on one of the links below:
The WeatherBug station at Currituck Regional Airport is available here.
May is an excellent time to make preparations in case any severe tropical storms head towards Currituck County this year. The National Weather Service recognizes June 1 as the beginning of hurricane season, so take time now to prepare!
Important steps to get ready for hurricane season include:
- Determine your risk. Understand the hazards brought by hurricanes to Currituck County, such as storm surge and flooding.
- Develop an evacuation plan. Know where you’ll go, what you’ll do with your pets, and coordinate with family and friends.
- Assemble an emergency safety kit. This should include food, water, medicine, cash, insurance documents, and spare clothes.
- Check to make sure your home and vehicle insurance information is up to date. Visit floodsmart.gov for more information.
- Create a checklist to prepare your home and property for approaching storms, such as covering windows and securing loose items.
- Help your neighbors. Check in with their welfare before and after the storm.
- Write down important points to your plan and document possessions with photos or video.
- Know how to stay informed of weather forecasts and local alerts. Each time a storm is forecast to possibly affect Currituck County, local updates will be posted on the county’s website, Facebook, and Twitter resources. Citizens should also sign up for Currituck Alert. This resource allows the county to send local alerts via text message, email, and voice-recorded messages.
There are many factors involved in hurricane season. If you have any questions regarding hurricane preparedness, contact Currituck Emergency Management at 252-232-2115.
You should also contact Emergency Management if you:
- Feel that you or a family member may need evacuation assistance. Currituck County offers free evacuation assistance for citizens with specific medical or transportation needs.
- Would like serve as a volunteer after a storm has impacted Currituck County. There are many roles that volunteers can fill to help others in the community.
- Have questions regarding the re-entry procedures following an evacuation for residents, businesses, and employees of Corolla.
Members of the Currituck County Department of Social Services helped raise awareness of the mistreatment and neglect of adults by participating in the World Elder Abuse Awareness Walk. This special event was held in Elizabeth City on Friday, May 31 and hosted by the Albemarle Commission Area Agency on Aging. Currituck staff at the event included Carla Mebane, Lori Langley, Natalize Wisz, Toni Midgett, and Krista Hair.
The event aims to promote a better understanding of elder abuse and neglect, and is part of a global effort to prevent violence towards adults. The United Nations recognizes June 15, 2019 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. According to the U.N., around 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse, a figure higher than previously estimated and predicted to rise as populations age worldwide. Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.
The Currituck County Department of Social Services has an Adult Protective Services staff that can help in situations where elder abuse may be occurring. This service is intended to provide protection to elderly and/or disabled adults who are unable to protect themselves from being abused, neglected, or exploited by a caretaker or themselves. To report this type of situation or to gather more information, contact Social Services at 252-232-3083.
The newest section of the Corolla Greenway is open for recreational use by pedestrians. This one mile addition provides much-needed connectivity from the north end of Monteray Shores to the Brindley Sports Center in Corolla Light.
The Corolla Greenway is a 6′-10′ wide concrete path that runs along NC 12. It is a popular site for pedestrians to walk, run, or ride bicycles while enjoying the scenery of the Outer Banks and provides a safe transportation option for citizens to utilize when visiting local destinations and the beach. The path is ADA compliant. This latest project was the fifth phase of the Greenway’s construction, which began in 2011. This section had been identified as a priority by Currituck County as part of the Corolla Bike, Pedestrian, Access, and Wayfinding Plan.
Motorized vehicles such as golf carts, scooters, or mopeds are not allowed on the Greenway and bicyclists should use caution when passing walkers or runners. Please remember to cross NC 12 at designated intersections and be cautious in areas where the Greenway is in close proximity to the road.
The Historic Jarvisburg Colored School and Currituck County Department of Travel and Tourism recently received funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council and Pratt Institute in New York to collaborate with Lisa Bateman, artist and NC native, to begin phase one of the art and community engagement project Songlines.
Songlines is an audio artwork using historic folk songs inspired by alumni of the Historic Jarvisburg Colored School. Phase one of the project will record local songs ‘sung’ by alumni descendants and local children in May-June 2019. Phase two, in 2020-21, will place the audio recordings in hidden locations surrounding the exterior of the school, as an outdoor audio soundscape that will enhance the interior exhibition displays.
The project is Inspired by oral histories that Bateman collected from alumni in 2013-2019. During these years, Bateman met with the community and the school’s Board of Directors to discuss a potential art installation. In planning the project, Bateman observed that many alumni histories included play and work songs that were sung during recess, while missing school to pick cotton and plant potatoes and on long walks to school in the mornings.
The Historic Jarvisburg Colored School, c.1868, moved to its current site in 1911 and is one of the oldest standing African American schoolhouses in North Carolina. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features a museum with informative historical displays, classroom replica, artifacts, and guest reception area. The museum is open Wednesdays – Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Currituck County welcomes William Nelson as the new director of Currituck Regional Airport. As the Airport Manager, Nelson will oversee the facility’s daily operations, including fuel management, budgeting, customer service, and compliance with federal aviation regulations.
Nelson graduated from Elizabeth City State University with a Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Aviation Science. He comes to Currituck County from a position at the Elizabeth City Regional Airport, where he was employed as a lineman overseeing aircraft maintenance and customer service.
“From growing up in Ahoskie, to graduating and training at Elizabeth City State, I have always called Eastern North Carolina home,” Nelson said. “The chance to manage Currituck Regional Airport is an opportunity to promote economic growth and make my home community stronger. It’s a dream job and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Nelson is a native of Ahoskie, N.C. Along with his degree in Aviation Science, he is also a lifelong aviation enthusiast and holds a commercial pilot’s license.
Currituck Economic Development announced that a new service providing weekend seasonal flights from airports in the northeast to Currituck Regional Airport will begin on May 18 and continue through Sept. 14, 2019.
Ultimate Air Shuttle will utilize 30-passenger airplanes to provide this service. At this time, flights are scheduled for Saturdays and Sundays only to and from Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, D.C. (via Manassas, VA,); and, New York City and Philadelphia (via Morristown, NJ). Ultimate Air Shuttle is also partnering with Outer Banks Airlines to provide flights from the Currituck Regional Airport to local airports on the Outer Banks, including locations at Manteo, Corolla, Kill Devil Hills, Hatteras, and Ocracoke. Learn more