Carteret County seeks bids for latest beach nourishment project

A familiar sight could return to Emerald Isle as early as November, as Carteret County went out for bids for another beach nourishment project Thursday. (Carteret County Shore Protection Office photo)

EMERALD ISLE — As officials had expected, Carteret County released the next Bogue Banks beach nourishment project for bids Thursday, with an opening set for 5 p.m. Thursday, July 30.

The document, supplied by Greg Rudolph, manager of the County Shore Protection Office, asks dredging contractors to bid on an Emerald Isle project that would add 2,012,850 cubic yards of beach fill material on 49,800 linear feet, or 9.4 miles, of beach, mostly in the central part of town.

The sand, to be dredged from a borrow site in the ocean off Atlantic Beach, would also be used in a portion of eastern Emerald Isle that’s considered an erosion hot spot and in a stretch of far western Emerald Isle.

The bid document also states the contractor would be required to put in plants on 186,500 square yards of new dunes.

Mr. Rudolph, in an email Thursday afternoon, said he and the town are “are very pleased” the bid solicitation was released.

“We have all the state and federal permit modifications in place, as well,” he said. “Moffatt & Nichol (the county’s beach engineering firm) has been jumping really high to get everything together to release the bid.”

The bid release follows the April 29 completion of the last nourishment project, which cost $28.2 million, in western Atlantic Beach, all of Pine Knoll Shores, a small stretch of Salter Path and most of western Emerald Isle.

The next project is to be about the same size, but will be farther from the borrow site so the cost has been estimated at a top-end of $45 million. It’s to start in November at the earliest and be completed by Friday, April 30, 2021. Dune planting would have to be complete by Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021.

Mr. Rudolph has said he believes it’s likely bids will come in lower than his estimate.

In a presentation to town commissioners last month, the shore protection office manager said Emerald Isle won’t have to pay anything out of its own budget for the work because it’s basically money the Federal Emergency Management Agency has reimbursed the town for the cost of replacing sand lost during Hurricane Florence in September 2018.

In addition, the county expects to have close to $30 million available in its beach nourishment fund, including FEMA money, and more is expected from the federal agency. Mr. Rudolph said last month the value of the nourishment reserve fund at the end of April was about $18.8 million. The fund gets half the proceeds from the county’s occupancy tax.

The bid document includes an option to reduce the volume of sand by 20% if necessary to meet the cost of the project. In addition, it includes a clause that allows the county up to 60 days to pay, a month longer than normal.

If the county receives three bids for the project by July 30, it can open them and award a contract. If it receives fewer, it must readvertise for one week. contract can be awarded.

The project is known as phase three of post-Hurricane Florence nourishment. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Illinois was the contractor for the first two phases.

 

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

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