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RODANTHE, N.C. (AP) -- People headed to Hatteras Island for the Christmas holiday -- or as early as Thursday -- have some good news: the last section of N.C. Highway 12 damaged by Superstorm Sandy is ready for traffic.

The final section of the road damaged north of Rodanthe reopened around 7 p.m. Wednesday. Crews from the state Department of Transportation began repaving the section Tuesday and put down the second layer of asphalt Wednesday. Crews then had to paint stripes and reconstruct shoulders.

When the road reopens, DOT will close the four-wheel-drive route, remove the checkpoints and reopen the highway to all traffic. Sandbag installation and dune reconstruction will continue.

The emergency ferry route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe also will close once the road reopens.

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