Back in 2014 we released a blog article on how to avoid the traffic on you drive to the Outer Banks. After seeing how many people that article helped and reading everyone’s responses and tips, we’ve decided to update it. Anyone who has driven to the Outer Banks on a Saturday knows how bad the traffic can be during peak season. We’ve had reports saying the traffic was backed up 20 miles behind the Wright Memorial Bridge.
How to Avoid the Traffic on Your Drive to the Outer Banks – Updated
Anyone who has driven to the Outer Banks on a Saturday knows how bad the traffic can be during peak season. Every year we hear reports saying the traffic was backed up 20 miles behind the Wright Memorial Bridge.
Everyone knows where the problem is. It’s the intersection in Kitty Hawk that takes you north onto highway 12 into Southern Shores. Traffic there bottlenecks and can add anywhere from 2 to 5 hours to your driving time. For guests who are staying south of this intersection there is a better way. If you’re staying in Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, or Nags Head with Outer Banks Blue here we have some time saving tips for you. During the peak vacation season, do not come across the Wright Memorial Bridge to get to the Outer Banks over the Wright Memorial Bridge during peak vacation season!
As most veteran vacationers to the Outer Banks know, traveling to the Outer Banks from the north and driving across the bridge will add around 3 hours to your driving time due to traffic. Google maps may say the stretch from Richmond to Kill Devil Hills, the middle ground for our Kitty Hawk to Nags Head guests, will take you 2 hours and 57 minutes but in reality it will take you 5 to 7 hours.
Those of you who usually drive by, or near Richmond and then take Highway 64 to Chesapeake, instead take Richmond, VA to Edenton, NC. Yes Google maps will say the drive is 4 hours, which is 1 hour and 3 minutes longer, but when you consider the traffic it is actually a time saver. Most who are trying to arrive on the Outer Banks by crossing the Wright Memorial Bridge are averaging a 6 hours drive from Richmond to Kill Devil Hills, but if you take the Edenton route you may cut as much as 2 hours off your drive. You may still encounter some traffic once your arrive on the Outer Banks, but as everyone knows the traffic south of the Kitty Hawk-Southern Shores traffic light is rather light by comparison.
Not only is this route a time saver but it is also full of smaller roads through the countryside which may be a nice change of scenery from your average drive down the interstate.
Another alternative to these routes is to take I-95 South to US-64 East by Rocky Mount, NC. This path shows on Google Maps as being 16 minutes longer than the Edenton route, but it is mostly freeway and has a lot more gas stations and food to stop at along the way.
Even those of you who must travel through Chesapeake, due to where you live, can take advantage of this tip when coming to the Outer Banks on a Saturday during peak season. The problem where traffic occurs typically begins somewhere between the Virginia-North Carolina state line and Highway 158-Highway 168 intersection. With there being an additional hour and 14 minutes to go the Edenton route you will still save time when considering traffic.
You can use Google maps link to map out this route. Simply adjust the start location with your home and the end location with your Outer Banks Blue vacation rental address.
A big tip to beat a lot of traffic is what day you check in on. Typically, most people vacationing on the Outer Banks choose to rent from Saturday to Saturday. If you switch up your check in day to a Friday or Sunday Check in traffic will be much less.
If you are crossing the Wright Memorial Bridge no later than 9:00 am then you are usually in the clear. Most days traffic doesn’t tend to get congested until around 10 am. I know 9:00 am sounds early, especially if your rental won’t be ready until 4:00 pm, but it’s more enjoyable to find something to do on the Outer Banks rather than sit in traffic for hours.
If you arrive to the Outer Banks before your Outer Banks vacation rental is ready try grabbing a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants. The beach is full of great local cuisine that we recommend everyone try (Top 8 Favorite Place To Get Breakfast on the Outer Banks). One of the best early arrival tips we can give you is to plan like you will arrive early. Pack swim suits and beach chairs to be easily accessible. If there is still time to kill until you can check into your rental you will be able to get to the beach gear easily and have a beach day until you can unpack the rest of your luggage.
We hope these tips can help you on your next trip to the Outer Banks. If you have any tips that we’ve left out we would love to hear them in the comments!
Goodbye Summer: Memory Monday September 1, 2014.
Today’s Memory Monday brings a bit of mixed emotions as we mark the unofficial end of summer today. While we have great memories of Summer 2014, we also are going to miss the warm weather, calm seas, and fun outdoor activities that summer provides.
Today’s Outer Banks Blue Realty Memory Monday brings us a picture of one of those summer memories a beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic!
|Another beautiful day starting on the OBX!|
Janet Adkins of Danville, Virginia who stayed with us at the property “Looking Glass” in Nags Head brings us this great photo. Nothing like an Outer Banks sunrise!
Also today we thank Jackie Tilitsky of Fredericksburg, Virginia who has stayed with her gang for a few years now at the “Klein Cottage” in Southern Shores. She provides us a great Memory…a family reunion picture. We love seeing families gather together on the Outer Banks and Jackie’s photo is a great one. .
Thanks Jackie and Janet for wrapping up our summer memory Mondays with these wonderful pictures!
All the best from the beach!
By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services
How to Avoid the Traffic on Your Drive to the Outer Banks
“Now and Then” in Nags Head, NC
|The new “NOW” house|
All of our homes are unique with something different to bring to the vacation experience of a lifetime here on the Outer Banks of NC. Some vacation rental homes have creative names, floor plans, and décor, while others are a standard vacation home with beds, pillows, and views of the ocean!
|The “Then” home with shaded areas under & a hot tub/swing area|
A quick video was created after a visit to see the “Now” and “Then” portions of the home in Nags Head. This oceanfront beauty was once a small beach box with decks and fun memories in it’s “cabin” feel at the ocean. The home owners later added on a whole new house still combined with the old to present “Now”. The name of this home is “Now and Then” and has enough room, charm, and décor to bring everyone in the family together from all eras.
This home is certainly not your “standard” beach house at the beach! “Now and Then” was a bit different to describe, for our reservations team. They came by to get a quick glimpse of the bedrooms, layout and design. It is located just feet from the ocean, steps to Jennette’s Pier and short ride or walk to the Outer Banks Outlet Mall in Nags Head, NC!
|Private dune top sitting area|
Check out the web page complete with fantastic photos to make you feel at home and imagine yourself here today!
Call now with any questions or comments (888) 727-3102
By Michelle Elmore, Marketing Director
Bridge is OUT!
We’ve all seen the signs in cartoons and comedies where signs go up saying “Bridge Out Ahead,” but in the case of the Alligator River Bridge on Rt. 64 on the way to the Outer Banks in Dare County it is no laughing matter for the next couple of weeks.
This past Tuesday, April 2nd the bridge that links the mainland to Dare County via U.S. Rt. 64 closed for a period of at least two weeks while the center draw on the bridge is repaired. The bridge is scheduled to be re-opened at 12:01 PM on Sunday, April 14th.
|View of bridge from Bridge’s Pilot House|
Alternate routes from the west to the Outer Banks include Rt. 17 through Elizabeth City to Rt. 158 which will take traffic to the north of the bridge. Another alternate route to the Outer Banks is to turn on to Rt. 94 South in Columbia, NC to Rt. 264 towards Manteo. The southern alternate route will add approximately 90 miles to the trip to the Outer Banks.
|The Center draw of the Alligator River Bridge|
The bridge, originally built in 1960 is a two-laned center pivot draw bridge that sees heavy water traffic as it is part of the Intercoastal Waterway. The bridge opens an average of 500 times in a one month period to allow boats to pass safely North and South. During the construction process the draw of the bridge will remain in the open position to allow boats to pass safely.
The project is an engineer’s dream. The work requires the center draw to be raised by 6 inches to allow crews to remove the center pivot, replace it and then put the draw back as it was. The process of repair of the bridge sounds simple, but it is a highly orchestrated and complex process. Here are the steps of the project:
-Swing bridge to open position.
-Jack the bridge up and and support it on both ends
-Pull the pivot out of the center.
-Replace the pivot.
-Replace all balance wheels on the pivot area.
-Replace gears and shafts.
-Lower the bridge onto the new pivot and balance wheels.
-Close the bridge.
|Center pivot of draw bridge|
Due to the tremendous number of openings each year the gears, and most mechanical components of the bridge are worn. The purpose of this project is to perform rehabilitation work on the components in hopes of preventing future closures of the bridge.
For updates go to this link to the Department of Transportation site that has been established for this project.
The work on this project is being done by PCL Construction of Tampa, Florida at a cost of $498,500. There is a penalty of $300 per hour for each hour past noon on April 14th that the project is due to be completed by and the bridge re-opened. At the same time there is a $300 bonus per hour for any time that the bridge is opened before the hard deadline of noon, April 14th.
Keep in mind while the U.S. Rt. 64 access to the Outer Banks will be hampered by this project the majority of traffic that comes to the Outer Banks arrives via U.S. Rt. 158 and across the Wright Memorial Bridge in Kitty Hawk. There is no affect expected on the Rt. 158 entry to the Outer Banks by this project.
All the best from the beach!
By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services