County completes surveys, applies for federal grant to nourish Radio Island, dredge east Taylor’s Creek

The yellow arrows on this graphic point to where beach nourishment would occur on Radio Island in a project currently being planned by Carteret County. The project also includes dredging and realignment of east Taylor’s Creek. (Carteret County Shore Protection Office graphic)

EMERALD ISLE — Carteret County has completed necessary survey work and filed an application for a U.S. Department of Defense grant to help pay for a beach nourishment project for Radio Island.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the County Shore Protection Office, said Thursday one part of the survey, conducted this week, was of the area of Radio Island where the sand from dredging east Taylor’s Creek would be deposited. The survey was done with a drone equipped with laser monitoring equipment and took about 13 minutes. In the past, it would have required an airplane, taken hours and cost much more, Mr. Rudolph said.

The survey team also used boats to review the east Taylor’s Creek channel and the area where a new channel will be dredged if the project moves forward.

“Now we just sit back and wait” to see if the county gets the federal grant, Mr. Rudolph said. “We should know in September.”

Several years ago, local officials began planning a project to dredge and realign east Taylor’s Creek to match the rest of the creek, along the Beaufort waterfront. The idea at the time was to deposit the spoils on the Atlantic Veneer property off Lennoxville Road.

However, Mr. Rudolph told the News-Times in June, between the formation of the plan and now, erosion of Radio Island increased after Hurricane Florence in 2018, so the county shifted gears and decided to use the sand to nourish the county-operated public beach access on Radio Island.

In addition, sand would be placed along Marine Road, which the U.S. Navy uses, and where erosion also has spiked and two power poles are threatened.

The $650,000 DOD grant would pay for about a third of the dredging and nourishment project, and the county thinks it has a good shot of securing it because the work benefits the military.

The county has already secured $1.3 million from an N.C. Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund grant. The DOD grant would be the required non-state match for the $1,950,000 project.

The spoils would be moved to Radio Island through a 3.5-mile-long-pipe in the creek, then spread on the island roughly from Old Town Yacht Club southward, parallel to Marine Road, to the Navy’s landing craft utility ramp and bulkhead.

Mr. Rudolph hopes send the project out for bids in the fall and start work in the winter.

The county already has a state major Coastal Area Management Act permit for the dredging and realignment work, with a plan to remove around 36,000 cubic yards of material. That permit now has to be adjusted for the new spoils disposal site.

 

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

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