SELC Sues to Stop Mid Currituck Bridge

Proposed route of the Mid Currituck Bridge.
Proposed route of the Mid Currituck Bridge.

In a move that is probably a surprise to no one who is following the events, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) is suing NCDOT to stop construction of the $500 Mid Currituck Bridge.

The SELC has been opposed to the bridge since it was first formally proposed in the late 1990s. The span will connect Aydlett on the Currituck mainland to Corolla, bypassing the troubled intersection of US 158 and NC 12 in Kitty Hawk. Highway planners see the bridge as the best option to alleviate the traffic jams that have plagued weekend traffic in the summer for years.

With the announcement in March of a Record of Decision approved by the Federal highway Administration, the the Mid Currituck Bridge moved closer than it ever has to reality. The Record of Decision is the final step before construction bids are let.

 According to the SELC they are representing a number of groups and organizations including the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, hunters, fishermen. A local group NoMCD, is also opposed to the bridge, although it is unclear if they are part of the suit.

The case was filed on April 23 in in the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina. The SELC maintains the bridge is an expensive and unnecessary project that will significantly damage to the environment. The suit alleges NCDOT failed to hold any public hearings on the Environmental Impact Statement since 2012.

The current Environmental Impact Statement is based on a 2012 EIS that was issued just before a planned ROD. NCDOT did solicit public input for the updated EIS, although there were no public hearings.

The bridge will be toll bridge. Although highway engineers believe it will alleviate traffic congestion it main purpose is to bring hurricane evacuation into compliance with state standards.

Sp[ring is here and it is spectacular on the Outer Banks. Plan your visit now with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Outer Banks Taste of the Beach Coming Soon

Great food and great times.

Spring is almost here and that means the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach cannot be far behind.

There are a lot of places that do a “Taste of…” but no one does it as well as the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach.

Think of it as a combination amazing culinary adventure and a tour of the of everything from Corolla to Manteo…with a couple of side trips to the mainland.

The dates have been moved back just a bit this year and the event will be the last weekend in March, beginning or Thursday. The dates are March 28-31.

Hopefully that will get us slightly warmer weather. In the past the ToB has been in the middle of March and weatherize we’ve run the gamut from balmy springtime to nor’easter. 

Regardless of the weather, the show must go on. 

Since most of the events are indoors, what’s happening outside shouldn’t matter too much  There are, however, two outdoor events that will certainly benefit from better weather…although experience has taught us that regardless of the weather the BBQ & Wings Showdown is a lot of fun.

Look for the Showdown at the Nags Head Soundside Event Site from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

One other big event to put on the radar  is the Chefs Grand Tasting & Bartenders Bubbly Bash. That also will be held under the tent at the Event Site. 

Although it’s outside, the Event Site tents will allow far more room for the what is a grand finale of the weekend. The Grand Tasting has been growing is size and squeezing everyone into one room has become difficult for the restaurants and at time uncomfortable for the guests.

The Chef’s Grand Tasting will be Sunday from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

As the big weekend gets closer, we’ll call out a couple of events that look especially different and interesting.

Be sure to book your home for this very special week with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Hello to Mustang Rock & Roast, Goodbye to TS Michael

Mustang Rock & Roast poster

Hurricane Michael will be just a memory by Saturday and Sunday, but as it leaves the Outer Banks it’s dragging some awesome weather behind it.

Actually by the time it gets to the Outer Banks, it will be Tropical Storm Michael and after looking at every weather forecast we can find, it looks as though Thursday and early morning Friday are going to be wet and windy days, but nothing that would raise concerns on the Outer Banks.

What that means is for anyone who had plans for the upcoming weekend, don’t change those plans.

The big event of this coming weekend is the Saturday and Sunday Mustang Rock & Roast, combining great music with food. It’s hard to imagine anything wrong with that combination.

Six bands will take the stage on both days, and one of the best features of Mike Dianna/Bearded Face Production is the continuous music through the use of two stages. As one band is playing, the next one is setting up, and when the fist band’s set ends, the music begins immediately

It creates a great day of music.

This year though, Mike is taking it one step farther by combining fun food with the festival.

Saturday its steamed oysters—that’s the Rock—and Sunday there’s a barbecue showdown. That’s the Roast.

The headliners for the festival, Big Something on Saturday and Pink Talking Fish on Sunday will be capping two days of great music.

And the weather will make this an even better event, with daytime temperature hovering around 70 and bright sunshine.

Proceeds from the Mustang Rock & Roast supports two fantastic causes—the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and the Mustang Outreach program that helps to supplement the music programs in local schools, teaching kids about music and performance.

The Mustang Rock & Roast is just one of a number of great fall events on the Outer Banks. Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates has the perfect accommodations and great rates for an autumn getaway.

Perfect Weather Creates Perfect Opportunity to Explore Outer Banks

Sunny weather and a beautiful sunset over Kitty Hawk Bay.

Sunny weather and a beautiful sunset over Kitty Hawk Bay.

It looks as though the weather gods are going be blessing the Outer Banks with some beautiful sunny days and mild temperatures for the next week. This is certainly the time to get out and enjoy some beautiful fall days.

There is so much to do, that we can’t list everything, but here are some suggestions.

Hop in a kayak

The biggest complaint about kayaking on the sound, or any open water, is the wind. All the forecasts that we have seen for the next few days call for light winds, making for idea conditions to paddle around the sounds.

Take a Hike

We know that hiking on the Outer Banks may not be the first thought when coming for a visit, but there is much more to the area than many people realize. There are four maritime forests preserves on the Outer Banks—Currituck Estuarine Reserve, Kitty Hawk Woods, Nags Head Woods and Buxton Woods. All of them offer a very different side of the area that is worth knowing. Or head over to Alligator River on the mainland for a very different experience.

Climb a Lighthouse

Best bet in this case would be the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla. No reservations are needed to climb it, but check in with the National Park Service on the status of Cape Hatteras Light and Bodie Island Light as well. The view from the top is always spectacular, but when there is not a cloud in the sky, the view goes to a whole new level.

Take a few minutes to check out the Sunset

Relax…breathe deeply and take 10 minutes to do nothing but watch the sunset over anyone of our sounds. It will be 10 minutes very well spent.

Take a Walk on the Beach

It sounds cliched, but there is nothing quite like walking on the beach on a perfect autumn day. It’s something the is good for all the senses and is particularly good for the soul. Just about any beach will do. And make it a long walk.

Anytime of the year is a great time to visit the Outer Banks. Check out our listings at Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates.

Reports Indicate Mid Currituck Bridge Project Moving Forward

Proposed route of the Mid Currituck Bridge, spanning Currituck Sound.
Proposed route of the Mid Currituck Bridge, spanning Currituck Sound.

40 Years Since Project Was First Discussed

If recent reports are accurate, the Mid Currituck Bridge may be back on track. The long-planned but always delayed project is seen as the best alternative to reduce weekend traffic woes during the Outer Banks summer season.

The project was first envisioned in 1978, but NCDOT planning for the bridge did not begin until the 1990s. Plans call for a 6 mile two lane toll bridge spanning the Currituck Sound at Aydlett on the mainland, connecting with the Currituck Banks just south of Great Beach Pond about a mile south of Corolla Village.

The project’s website indicates a Record of Decision will be issued in late summer or fall of 2018. Since there is very little time left in the summer, fall seems most likely and thetas what is being reported.

The Record of Decision of decision outlines the scope of the project and is needed to award contracts. It typically takes 15-18 months to negotiate contracts, so reasonably construction would begin in 2020. The NCDOT timetable has always seen the Mid Currituck Bridge as a four year project, so a 2024 opening is the prediction.

That timetable aligns with the reporting that we’re seeing.

However, there are a number of cautionary notes that have to accompany this.

The Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) has voiced concerns about the project and has funded a study that suggests there are less expensive alternatives to spending $489 million that would result in significant improvements in traffic delays.

Although the bridge is seen as a means to reduce traffic woes, its primary purpose is to allow faster evacuation times if an evacuation is needed. According to the SELC, their plan would also reduce evacuation times.

To date, the SELC has not stated that they will sue to stop the Mid Currituck Bridge. If a lawsuit is filed, though, it would not be filed until the Record of Decision is issued, and typically not until the end of the comment period for it.

If a lawsuit is filed, it’s difficult to know when the project will move forward.

Great weather and a beach to yourself…fall is the perfect time to visit Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and the Outer Banks.

Four Outer Banks Microbreweries Offer Great Tasting Possibilities

The iconic Outer Banks Brewing Station.
The iconic Outer Banks Brewing Station.

And now we are four—four locally owned microbreweries  on the Outer Banks, that is.

The Northern Outer Banks Brewing Company in Corolla just joined the mix this spring, and that brings the number of microbreweries on the Outer Banks to four. Or maybe five if 1718 Brewing down in Ocracoke is included…although we think that’s a bit of a long way to go for a beer.

The four breweries on the northern Outer Banks are just close enough together that it would be possible to take an afternoon and do a beer tasting tour. And since each of the microbreweries has their own distinct style and taste, it could make for a very interesting time.

The four breweries

Weeping Radish

6810 Caratoke Hwy, Grandy

Not actually on the Outer Banks—it’s about a half mile north of the Cotton Gin—Weeping Radish is both the first microbrewery on the Outer Banks—they opened first in Manteo—and the oldest microbrew in North Carolina.

Definitely German style beers, although there is a surprising variety. By all means, check out the restaurant and try some of the sausages they make on premise.

Outer Banks Brewing Station

600 South Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills

Look for the wind turbine. Very well made craft beers in a variety of styles. Their lemongrass wheat ale is as good a summer sipper as there is.

The food is pub food but a noticeable notch above the average pub food. Save room for dessert…their always excellent and sometimes spectacular.

Look for great live music during the week and outdoor service under the wind turbine.

Lost Colony Brewery

208 Queen Elizabeth St., Manteo

Enjoy an English stye beer and some excellent food at the outdoor cafe in downtown Manteo.

The Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe used to be the Full Moon Cafe, same owners, same great food, it just that they’ve added their own beers to the mix.

The style is very much the English way of brewing beer—a bit heavier than American brews, usually with a bit of a hoppy finish. Very well made and worth a visit.

Northern Outer Banks Brewing

520 Old Stoney Rd., Corolla

The newest addition to the Outer Banks microbrewery scene, Northern Outer Banks Brewing is turning out some wonderfully drinkable beers.

There is a tasting room, but they don’y have food. However, Cosmo’s Pizza is next door and later in the day Metropolis is open.

The brewery also makes their way to the Whalehead Club to offer tastings on Whalehead Wednesdays.

Looking for a place to call home when away from home? Check our what’s available at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates.

Beach Permit Now Required for Parking on Carova Beach

Carova where large numbers of people and vehicles mix on a daily basis during the summer tourist season.
Carova where large numbers of people and vehicles mix on a daily basis during the summer tourist season.

Permit Required for Parking on Beach Only

Heading to the Carova area of the Currituck Banks? If so, be sure to get a permit before parking on the beach.

Beginning this weekend—Memorial Day—a permit is required for anyone who is parking on the Carova beach. The very important word in that sentence is parking. In other words, if a family is planning on driving to the 4WD area, and stopping to go swimming or fishing, a permit will be needed.

However, no permit is needed for an excursion to Carova if there is no stopping on the beach. If, as an example, this is a family trip to the 4WD area where the Corolla Wild Horses roam, and the hope is to see how many horses can be found—no permit is required for the expedition.

This is an attempt by Currituck County to get a handle on summertime beach traffic north of Corolla. In the summer the beach often seems more like a highway than a place where a family can relax and enjoy their time by the sea.

There are some rules and regulations governing who will need a permit, and how to get them. Here’s the information from the Currituck County website.

Currituck County Information Beach Parking Permit

Beachgoers who wish to park (we added the emphasis) on Currituck County’s four-wheel drive beach this summer will need a county-issued beach parking permit displayed on their motor vehicle.

This new permit system was adopted by the Board of Commissioners in an effort to increase safety in the four-wheel drive area, where large numbers of people and vehicles mix on a daily basis during the summer tourist season.

The permit system will be effective from the Friday before Memorial Day until Labor Day. Key provisions in the policy include:

All county residents and property owners may receive a free Seasonal permit for each vehicle they own by providing proof of ownership and current liability insurance. The permits will be issued specific to each vehicle.

County residents who live full-time on the off road area north of the North Beach Access Ramp may obtain two additional Guest permits. These permits will not be specific to a motor vehicle and may be used by guests of the resident.

All others must pay a fee for a beach parking permit. These permits will be available for purchase from the Tourism Department on a temporary or seasonal basis.

Types of Parking Permits

Seasonal – This permit is assigned to a specific vehicle and is good for the entire vacation season.  Seasonal permits are free to county residents and property owners.  Others may purchase a Seasonal permit for $150.

10-Day – This permit is available for purchase ($50) by individuals who want to park on the four-wheel drive beach but are not Currituck County residents or property owners and are not renting a home on the off-road area.  This would apply to day-visitors or those staying anywhere other than the 4-wheel drive beach.

Permits are available at:

Currituck Outer Banks Welcome Center

106 Caratoke Highway

Moyock, North Carolina


Corolla Visitor’s Center

500 Hunt Club Drive

Corolla, North Carolina 


Or email:

Check out Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates. for the best locations on the Outer Banks.

Mustang Spring Jam-Great Music & a Great Time in Corolla

Marcus King Band performing at the 7th Annual Mustang Spring Jam.
Marcus King Band performing at the 7th Annual Mustang Spring Jam.

Marcus King Band Rocks the House

Sunday’s Mustang Spring Jam in Corolla may have been the best yet, and that’s really saying something because there have been some amazing  shows in the past. But there was something about this one—maybe it was lucky seven—since this was the 7th annual show. Or may it was just the right combination of music on the right day.

The Mustang Jams always kickoff with the kids from the Mustang Music Outreach. Ranging from third grade through high school seniors, working with longtime professional musician Ruth Wyand, the kids learn how to perform on stage.

The youngest ones are learning, still figuring it out, but just that they’re on stage and performing recognizable popular music at eight or nine years of age is pretty impressive.

It gets really impressive though, when two high schools seniors take the stage—both performers will be majoring in music next year in college. At that point there is really no difference between their performance and professional musicians.

That set the stage for everything that followed.

Porch 40, hailing from Asheville put on a heck of a show. Really innovative music—sort of a cross between jazz, blues and rock. Local reggae band Sensi Trails always puts on a great show and the quality of their performance is getting better and better.

Back for a second time—they played last year at the Spring Jam—Fireside Collective. The instruments are bluegrass—guitar, mandolin, standup bass, banjo, and no drum—and the music is kind of bluegrass. But what they play is bluegrass at a rock ’n’ roll beat with attitude. Fun and very talented.

The Marcus King Band, though, stole the show.

Watching and listening to the performance of the band there is a real sense that this is a group that is about to step to the next level.

The guitar work of King is amazing, but what sets the band apart is how innovative the arrangements are, how gifted the rest of the musicians are, and how intricate and fascinating the music is.

The styles are all over the genre map; there’s blues, hard rock, some psychedelic rock, southern influence, jazz and country. And it all works beautifully together.

We’ll hope he make another trip to the Outer Banks. If he does, we’ll be sure to check him out.

The summer season is getting into full swing. We still have some properties available for your summer vacations. Checks us out at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates for more information.

Mustang Spring Jam Highlights Great OBX Weekend

The Marcus King band coming to the Mustang Spring Jam this Sunday.
The Marcus King band coming to the Mustang Spring Jam this Sunday.

Two Great Events Highlight Spring Weekend

Spring on the Outer Banks is a remarkable time and this coming weekend is what it’s all about. It’s a weekend with two great events—the 3rd Annual Shredfest on Saturday at the Nags head Event Site and on Sunday it’s the 7th Annual Mustang Spring Jam in Corolla.

Shredfest is all about if it has wheels it can shred, but there’s some great music as well. Personal favorite is The Ramble taking the stage at 4:00.

If music is the theme, though, nothing quite matches what Mike Dianna and his Bearded Face Productions does with the Mustang Spring Jam. Six bands will take the stage over the course of the day. Well, seven, because the Mustang Music Outreach kids always kick things off and they are really worth checking out.

There is a great local band in the mix—Sensi Trails. Featuring some tight reggae arrangements with very good musicianship, it’s a group that’s a real pleasure to watch.

The headliner, though is really gong to be exciting. The Marcus King band has been wowing audiences wherever they play with their eclectic blend of southern rock merged with psychedelic. Great musicians playing music the way it’s supposed to be played.

One of the features of the Mustang music festivals is the use of multiple stages so there is no gap in the music between groups. When one band wraps up the next is ready to go immediately.

The Mustang Spring Jam raises money for two great organizations. The Corolla Wild Horse Fund has been protecting the Corolla Wild Horses for the past two decades and through their efforts the herd may yet survive intact.

The Mustang Music Outreach teaches kids about music and performance. It’s a great program; the kids learn a lot and music director Ruth Wyand makes it all fun.

Need accommodations for the weekend? Check out our rentals at Joe Lamb Jr., & Associates.

Great Music on Tap at 7th Annual Spring Mustang Music Jam

Great music on tap for the 7th Annual Mustang Spring Jam.
Great music on tap for the 7th Annual Mustang Spring Jam.

Mustang Spring Jam Highlights Spring Outer Banks Music

It’s a little under a month to go before the 7th Annual Mustang Music Spring Jam on Sunday, May 20.

As aways, the spring jam is held at Mike Dianna’s Grill Room in Corolla.

Mike has a great touch with his shows—always manages to bring in some of the best bands around—bands that may not be as well-known as the big names but are putting together some awesome sounds with really talented musicians.

This year looks like it’s not exception.

The Marcus King Band from Greenville, SC. is headlining this year. The sound is kind of southern rock of the 1970s, but there a bit of psychedelia thrown in touched off by great vocals, hard driving beat and screaming hot guitar.

There’s lot’s more as well.

All Mustang Music shows kick off with the kids of the Mustang Music Outreach Program taking the stage. Under the direction of Ruth Wyand, these kids rock. Shockingly good and worth coming early just to check them out.

There’ll be another local band featured as well. Sense Trails does a great job with reggae music and are worth checking out.

Also on tap of the day will be Fireside Collective from Asheville and Of Good Nature from Charlotte, NC.

A great quality of all of Mike Dianna’s Mustang Music shows—continuous music. For the Spring Jam, there will be a stage on the deck of the restaurant and a tent with a stage in the parking lot. When one band end, the next one is ready to go right away.

Proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and the Mustang Music Outreach Program—two great programs that make the Outer Banks a better place to live, work and visit.