Ferry channel, creek dredging proceeds, but residents voice concerns about street damage from heavy equipment

The waterway dredging project in and near Cape Carteret is going well, but town officials and some residents are concerned about street damage, such as this on Lejeune Road, caused by heavy equipment moving dredged material to storage sites. (Brad Rich photo)

CAPE CARTERET — The Old Ferry Channel-Deer Creek dredging project in Bogue Sound between Cape Carteret and Emerald Isle and in interior portions of Cape Carteret is about half over, with completion expected by Thursday, April 1.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, which manages dredging projects, said Thursday he’s satisfied with quality and progress of the work.

“T.D. Eure (the Beaufort-based contractor for the project) has dredged the Old Ferry Channel and the Deer Creek Connector (to Bogue Sound) and has been working on and making good progress on Deer Creek South the past week,” Mr. Rudolph said in an email. “There is some minor touch-up work to be done in Old Ferry Channel and Deer Creek Connector based on the surveys, which isn’t unexpected at all.”

He added that the stretches T.D. Eure has addressed so far “are some of the bigger (ones) … and we’re well over 8,000 cubic yards into the project.”

The $1.45 million contract calls for dredged depths to 6 feet or up to 1 foot more for Old Ferry Channel; 5 feet or up to half a foot more for the Deer Creek Connector; 4 feet or up to half a foot more for Deer Creek North; 4 feet or up to half a foot more for Schoolhouse Creek; 5 feet or up to half a foot more for Deer Creek South; and 4 feet or up to half a foot more for Deer Creek North Extension.

Old Ferry Channel runs through Bogue Sound from Cape Carteret to Emerald Isle, crossing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, while Deer Creek and its tributaries afford water access to hundreds of Cape Carteret boaters who want to get safely into the sound and the AIWW.

The town will pay a share of the cost of the project, which Mr. Rudolph estimates will be a maximum of $22,496.67. Property owners along the sections to be dredged have pledged to pitch in for the town’s share.

The state, through its Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund, which gets revenue from fees for new and transferred boat titles and the tax on boat fuel, will pay two-thirds of the cost of the entire project.

“We’re really pleased with the progress,” especially considering all the rain we’ve had,” Mr. Rudolph said in the email Thursday.”

One thing that hasn’t pleased residents of the Bayshore Park area of Cape Carteret is the condition of streets after more than a month of use by tractors and trucks hauling the dredged material from the water to spoils retention sites. There are many potholes and cracks in the roads.

Cape Carteret Commissioner Steve Martin said he and other Bayshore residents knew this would happen, but want to make sure the county follows through quickly with the repairs.

The neighborhood suffered poor access for months with culvert failures last year, and residents are concerned about damage to their vehicles from the poor street conditions now.

“I believe Rudi Rudolph and the county will live up to the commitment and get it done,” Mr. Martin said. “The question is how soon. I’m not going to be willing to wait much more than a week after April 1 to see it start. It’s pretty bad.”

Mr. Rudolph said street problems were expected and will be addressed.

“T.D. Eure has worked just about every day regardless (of the rain) and has done their best to keep the disposal areas and streets clean,” he said. “They mobilized what seems like a fleet of street sweepers, and they have been working on almost a daily basis. “

He’s confident T.D. Eure will make good on its contractual commitment to fix the roads.

“Everything from patching to complete resurfacing, depending on what is ultimately needed, was included as a separate line item in the bid and therefore the contract,” he said in the email Thursday. “We have until April 1 to complete the project so we’re going to hold off on any road repairs until the trucks are done moving material.”

He added he has daily contact with T.D. Eure, and also meets weekly by phone with the contractor, the county’s engineers and Cape Carteret Town Manager Zach Steffey.

“We discuss the road conditions every time,” he said. “While there are some obvious spots of the road(s) that are in bad shape, there are long stretches that look pretty good, all things considered.”


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

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