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Jerry Jennings saluted for NCDOT work

After leading NCDOT’s Division 1 for 11 years, division engineer Jerry Jennings has retired.

He was saluted by Dare County’s Board of Commissioners for his leadership and help in Dare County.

As division engineer, Jennings was responsible for overseeing, directing and managing the multi-modal activities and programs of the division. He was responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and safety of the state-maintained roads and structures within a 14-county geographical area that stretches from I-95 in Northampton County to Ocracoke Island.

Within that division are 11 airports, 5,208 road miles over 10,000 lane miles and five ferry routes, said Dare Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert L. Woodard during the presentation.

During his tenure, Jennings “oversaw responses to some of Dare County’s most important storm damages that we’ve ever seen in our lifetime,” said Woodard. Those storms included Hurricanes Emily, Irene, Sandy, Matthew and Dorian.

In Dare County, Jennings was responsible for improvements to NC 12 like two new bridges and one replacement bridge. He watched the building of the Etheridge Bridge in the inlet that formed after Hurricane Irene and the currently under-construction Rodanthe Bridge. He watched the replacement of the 55-year-old Bonner Bridge with the Marc Basnight Bridge over Oregon Inlet.

He also has been in charge of the constant maintenance and clearing of NC 12 in the wake of nor’easters and other storms that bring ocean overwash and sand onto one of the nation’s most unique highways.

Jennings helped maintain important access and evacuation routes into and out of Dare County, including the refurbishing of both the Wright Memorial Bridge and the Alligator River Bridge. Future projects include upcoming improvements to Colington Road.

“All of these will be part of your legacy,” said Woodard to Jennings.

In making the presentation on behalf of the Dare Board of Commissioners, Woodard said “Jerry was always responsive to this board . . . He personally provided updates on transportation projects in District 1 to elected officials in all 14 counties. He never hesitated if we asked him to come speak at one of these board meetings.”

Said Jennings, “I was one person of a big team of professionals. It was certainly a team effort.”

Said Robert L. Outten, county manager, to Jennings, “. . . thank you for always being willing to try to help us get to ‘yes’ if it was possible.”

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