Contractor completes Deer Creek, Old Ferry Channel dredging work

The dredging is complete in Old Ferry Channel, Deer Creek and its tributaries, but work remains to be done on the spoils disposal sites, such as this one, and to repair Cape Carteret streets. (Brad Rich photo)

CAPE CARTERET — The in-water portion of the Old Ferry Channel/Deer Creek dredging project ended Thursday, which was the deadline.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, said in an email the remaining work is on land.

“We have to conduct some final grading of the upland disposal sites, which we anticipate will take a few days,” he said.

Once that is done, the crews will “work on the road repairs, which we hope to have completed at or about the very end of this month,” Mr. Rudolph continued.

Residents in the Bayshore Park area of Cape Carteret have been clamoring for repair of streets damaged by heavy equipment connected to the project, including trucks carrying dredge spoils to disposal sites. The residents were particularly upset when the county got the state to extend the dredging deadline from April 1 to Thursday, allowing the equipment to continue running up and down neighborhood streets.

Mr. Rudolph said the extension was necessary, however.

“Our contractor spent the first eight to nine days cleaning up (spots in Deer Creek) before traversing over the (Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway) to address Old Ferry Channel South, which is closest to Emerald Isle, Mr. Rudolph said.

The project started Jan. 14, and close to 25,000 cubic yards of material were removed from the channel, the creek and its tributaries. A bucket dredge did the work, loading the material on a barge, which hauled it to shore. Mr. Rudolph called it a “big bucket-to-barge/truck haul project in tight quarters.”

Deer Creek and its tributaries are the main way boaters in Cape Carteret get to the deep water of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway to reach the ocean, and town residents and visitors have wanted it dredged for years, as portions have been badly silted.

The state paid for two-thirds of the $1.45 million project, while the county, Cape Carteret and residents along the creek and its tributaries split the other third.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rudolph also said Thursday the big Emerald Isle beach nourishment project will continue, with two dredges operated by contractor Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Illinois working simultaneously.

The $31.6 million project added 166,350 cubic yards of sand in the extreme western strand off Coast Guard Road. Other totals are 708,750 cubic yards to the east of that, 537,750 cubic yards in the center of town and 600,000 cubic yards in the extreme east. All of the sand is coming from a borrow site in the ocean off Atlantic Beach.

The western half of the project is essentially complete, Mr. Rudolph said Thursday.

The Ellis Island dredge is working west to east, depositing sand into the submerged pipe that emerges from the ocean at 14th Street.

The deadline for completing the dredging and nourishment is Friday April 30.

Mr. Rudolph said a subcontractor, Earth Balance, plans to start putting in new vegetation on the dunes Monday, May 3, working west to east. Oceanfront property owners should not put up any sand fences until the planting is complete.


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

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