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NC 12: A love-hate relationship with a road
Folks have a love-hate relationship with Irene-battered NC Highway 12 on Hatteras Island
By The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) ' The highway that connects North Carolina's Outer Banks to the mainland was breached in several spots because of Hurricane Irene. And that's re-ignited a debate about the best way to rebuild that connection.

The road floods easily and washes away during hurricanes. Some question whether it is worth pouring millions of dollars of repairs into such a vulnerable road and suggest building a long bridge instead.

Irene took several big bites out of the highway, including one chunk that was nearly 160-feet long.

Without Highway 12, the only way to get to Hatteras and most of the other nearby barrier islands would be by boat. The island is still not open to tourists, though the governor has said transportation officials would come up with a short-term solution for access.

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