Four-wheel drive route on NC 12 to close temporarily

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Deputy Cliff Tice of the Dare County Sheriff's Department walks down damaged and impassable NC 12 leading into Mirlo Beach in Rodanthe, N.C. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. People on North Carolina's Outer Banks are facing some flooding and damage from Hurricane Sandy, but emergency management officials say it could have been worse. North Carolina Transportation Department spokeswoman Greer Beaty said the highway was closed Tuesday until crews inspect the road. (AP FILE photo)

RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) — Road crews will temporarily close the four-wheel drive route along N.C. Highway 12 north of Rodanthe on the Outer Banks to remove damaged pavement and level the area in hopes to reopen the road to all traffic by Christmas.

The N.C. Department of Transportation said the highway will be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. The emergency ferry route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe will remain open.

The road suffered severe damage from Superstorm Sandy, which also washed away the protective dune, when it struck in late October.

Currently, only four-wheel drive vehicles can pass through. The DOT hopes, if the weater, wind and waves cooperate, to make repairs and open the highway linking the Outer Banks to the mainland to all vehicles by Dec. 25.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.  (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)