Spreading the sand

Heavy equipment spreads sand piped to the strand in Atlantic Beach last week. (Carteret County Shore Protection Office photo)

atlantic beach — The $28.2 million Bogue Banks beach nourishment project got off to a fast start this week, as sand was piped to and spread from the Circle development district to the 300 block of Ocean Ridge Road as of Friday morning.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, said the quick progress had been expected and should continue for another week.

“The distance between the (sand) borrow source (off Atlantic Beach) and the pump-out station is the shortest now,” he said.

As the project moves west into Pine Knoll Shores, it will slow down, he added, because it will take the Liberty Island dredge from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. longer to get to and from the borrow site.

Western Atlantic Beach is to get 520,000 cubic yards of sand. By the end of work Thursday, it had already received about 25% of that, according to Town Manager David Walker.

The next phase is from Durham Avenue to the town limits at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. To do that work, the contractor will move the sand discharge west to another land pipe around the Ocean Sands resort.

Mr. Rudolph said he expects work to be finished in Atlantic Beach by the end of this month, then it will move into Pine Knoll Shores, where the company’s larger vessel, the Ellis Island, with a capacity of 15,000 cubic yards of sand, will join the effort to speed things up some.

“It’s going very well so far,” Mr. Rudolph said. “They haven’t had any down time. Even Thursday, when the wind was pretty strong, they worked right through it.”

The contractor works seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

“Time is money,” Mr. Rudolph said.

Pine Knoll Shores is to get 990,000 cubic yards of sand.

The final two segments, the state beach access in Salter Path and Emerald Isle, roughly from Sound of the Sea west to Point Emerald Villas, are supposed to be finished by Wednesday, April 1.

The project started Feb. 6 when the Liberty Island picked up three-quarters of a full load and sent to it the beach west of the Circle.

The following day, no work was done because of bad weather and stormy seas caused by a cold front, so the project got rolling Feb. 8, Mr. Rudolph said.

That day, the Liberty Island departed from the state port at 2 p.m., went to the borrow site and started delivering sand to Atlantic Beach at about 4:30 p.m., he said.

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

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