MANTEO, N.C. (AP) -- The state Transportation Department is hosting three meetings to discuss a long-term solution for the section of N.C. Highway 12 breached by Hurricane Irene in 2011.

The meetings will be held Monday in Manteo; Tuesday in Rodanthe and Wednesday on Ocracoke Island.Click here for times and locations.

Officials will be discuss an environmental assessment that identifies the preferred alternative as a permanent bridge where a temporary bridge is now located. DOT plans to award a contract for construction this summer.

DOT Secretary Tony Tata will be there. After the meeting, he will spend an hour answering questions.

Meanwhile, DOT is considering options for an area damaged in Rodanthe. Both options involve a bridge, and DOT plans to award that contract this fall.

Both projects are part of the plan to replace the Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet.

NC 12 was closed off and on over the weekend because of overwash. At 8:00 a.m. Monday, it was closed south of the Oregon Inlet bridge. Dare County authorities said there was 'significant' sand and ocean over wash at Mirlo Beach, new inlet and other spots between Mirlo and Oregon Inlet.

AP-WF-03-11-13 0804GMT

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