Beach nourishment

A pipe sits at a site west of the Circle development district in Atlantic Beach, where the first sand will come in from the dredge as part of a beach nourishment project that got underway this week. (Carteret County Shore Protection Office photo)

EMERALD ISLE — As expected, the contractor for the county’s $28.2 million Bogue Banks beach nourishment project began delivering and assembling pipes and equipment last week.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection office, said Thursday that Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Illinois was busy Wednesday in Atlantic Beach and at the staging area at the old Iron Steamer Pier site in Pine Knoll Shores.

“On the land side,” he said Thursday, “flatbed trucks (Wednesday) delivered a 30-inch-diameter pipe, approximately 30 feet long, to the Iron Steamer Regional Beach Access. In the water, the first submerged pipeline (subline) has been towed, assembled just offshore, and landed in Atlantic Beach.”

Over the next several days, the beach pipe will be carried by heavy equipment to the first point in Atlantic Beach where the pipeline from offshore comes to the beach, Mr. Rudolph said.

The Liberty Island, Great Lakes’ smaller dredge, is scheduled to arrive Thursday, Feb. 6, get inspected and head out to the sand borrow site off Atlantic Beach. Once the vessel begins dredging, it will pump sand through the offshore pipe to the pipes on the beach, where it will begin to flow onto the strand and be spread by more heavy equipment.

Eventually, 1.995 million cubic yards of sand will be spread and new dunes will be constructed along 9.5 miles of beach in western Atlantic Beach, all of Pine Knoll Shores, a small portion of Salter Path and part of western Emerald Isle.

A conventional dump truck holds about 12 cubic yards of wet sand, Mr. Rudolph said, so the total sand involved equates to about 167,000 dump truck loads.

 The Liberty Island will do the work in Atlantic Beach and Pine Knoll Shores, but in March, Great Lakes’ largest dredge boat, the Ellis Island, is to join the project to relieve the Liberty Island and move west into Salter Path and Emerald Isle. The goal is to finish before Thursday, April 30, when work is supposed to stop to protect sea turtles.

Once the sand is in place, vegetation is to be planted to help stabilize the dunes.

The project, like one completed in spring 2019, is intended to replace sand lost during Hurricane Florence in September 2018 in order to protect homes, businesses and private and public infrastructure along the island.

The project completed last spring in eastern Emerald Isle, most of Salter Path and all of Indian Beach placed about 1 million cubic yards of sand on the strand and cost $20.2 million, mostly paid for through the towns and the county’s beach nourishment fund, which gets half the proceeds from the county’s occupancy tax. The state chipped in $5 million.

The current project is being funded by about $12 million from the beach nourishment fund and $15.3 million from $18 million the N.C. General Assembly set aside last year to help local governments nourish beaches after Florence. The county’s engineering firm, Moffatt & Nichol, said the storm removed about 3.6 million cubic yards of sand from Bogue Banks beaches.


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

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