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The Associated Press October 4, 2011, 11:18AM ET

NC says repair to damaged coastal highway advances

North Carolina transportation officials say the Hatteras Island highway sliced apart when Hurricane Irene cut channels across the barrier island could be reopened within a couple of weeks, depending on the weather.

The state Department of Transportation said Monday the first layer of asphalt has been put down on state Highway 12 nearing the breach north of Rodanthe. Crews are also getting closer to finishing a temporary bridge over the largest portion of the breach.

The DOT says much of the remaining work is weather dependent, but crews hope to reopen the road by mid-October.

Hurricane Irene chewed up part of Highway 12 in late August, creating a new inlet and several new breaches The main road between the island and the mainland has been closed since.

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