Piping sand

Wet sand dredged from offshore spews onto the strand in Atlantic Beach early Thursday. It will brighten up as it dries over time. (Carteret County Shore Protection Office photo)

atlantic beach — Some sand hit the town’s strand Thursday as a $28.2 million Bogue Banks beach nourishment project got underway.

According to Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, the dredge boatLiberty Island arrived early in the week, got a minor repair at the N.C. State Port in Morehead City, got inspected, then went out to the sand borrow site off Atlantic Beach early Thursday morning.

The vessel, which can carry about 6,500 cubic yards of wet sand, sucked up about three-fourths of its capacity, then delivered the material to the pipeline that transports it to the beach west of The Circle development district.

A little later the dark, wet sand was spewing onto the beach. The stormy cold front that brought high winds and heavy rain late Thursday began to approach, and the Liberty Island, owned by Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Illinois, called it a day.

With high winds whipping up rough seas, Mr. Rudolph said Friday morning by email, “The Liberty Island is tucked in at one of the berths in the (port) harbor.”

But, Mr. Rudolph added, “We’re basically all set,” and the plan Friday was for dredging and nourishing to begin in earnest sometime Saturday if winds and seas permit.

The land-based pipe that will move sand westward on the island has been delivered. Mr. Rudolph said there might be 10,000 linear feet of pipe, which can be picked up and moved.

Once sand flows out of the pipe and onto the beach, it’s spread by heavy equipment to bolster dunes and the flat recreational beach.

Western Atlantic Beach is to get 520,000 cubic yards of sand. The area hasn’t been nourished since 2004-05. Prior to that, it had been nourished in the mid-1990s and mid-1980s.

Once work is done in Atlantic Beach, the project will move into Pine Knoll Shores, where the whole strand, more than 4 miles, will get 990,000 cubic yards of sand. It hasn’t been nourished since 2013-14.

The next phase will be a small portion of Salter Path, in and around the state-owned beach access, which was left out when the rest of Salter Path was nourished last year. That area will get 140,000 cubic yards.

The work will wrap up, hopefully by Wednesday, April 1, in western Emerald Isle, which will get 385,000 cubic yards. That area has not been nourished since 2013. Great Lakes’ largest dredge boat, the Ellis Island, will do that work. It has a carrying capacity of 15,000 cubic yards of wet sand.

The project totals 1.995 million cubic yards of sand along 9.5 miles of beach.

About $12 million of the cost is coming from the county’s beach nourishment fund, which gets half the revenue from the county’s occupancy tax.

Another $15.3 million is coming from $18 million the state General Assembly set aside last year to help local governments pay to replace sand lost during Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

Moffatt & Nichol, the county’s beach engineering firm, said last year that the storm had removed about 3.6 million cubic yards of sand from Bogue Banks beaches.

To plot the Liberty Island’s progress, visit marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-12.0/centery:25.0/zoom:4 and type Liberty Island in the search box in the upper right corner.

Oceanfront property owners with questions about the project and its effects can visit carteretcountync.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7738/Florence-Phase-II-QA.

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

(2) comments

tugboater

$45,000,000 in order to protect houses on a sand spit; anything for maintaining the commercial waterway (ICW)???

David Collins

Yup , yet another exercise in futility . As far as the ICW goes , they “ the tadpole kissers “ do not want the ICW maintained . To maintain it would be to encourage commercial use . That is bad , in their eyes . Better to let it fill in and give it up to kayakers and paddle boarders . Also known as thrill seekers . Just changing times and views . Who knows what is right anymore ?

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