ATLANTIC BEACH — Yet another beach nourishment project is scheduled for Bogue Banks this winter.
In addition to phase three of the post-Hurricane Florence nourishment project in central Emerald Isle and portions of eastern and extreme western Emerald Isle, the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers is expected to place 1.143 million cubic yards in Atlantic Beach, from just east of the Fort Macon State Park bathhouse to The Circle development district.
Weeks Marine of New Jersey was the low bidder for the federal project, at $18,086,750.
The total amount of sand is a little more than half of the 2 million cubic yard total set to go on Emerald Isle beaches this winter in a project for which Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Illinois was the low bidder at $31,611,770.
Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, said Tuesday it’s going to be an exciting, busy and productive winter.
“What this means is that in less than three years since Florence, we will have placed sand on all of Bogue Banks,” he said.
Mr. Rudolph said the ACE project is part of the ongoing periodic work to keep the harbor and entrance channel at the N.C. State Port of Morehead City safe for ships. It’s free sand, because the dredging is necessary for the port and part of regular maintenance. Atlantic Beach has gotten such sand for years.
The project will use a pipeline dredge, not a hopper dredge as in the Florence projects, so there won’t be pipes moved from one location to another as the work proceeds.
Mr. Rudolph said the ACE opened the bids Monday and the contract has not yet been awarded, but will be soon. As such, Weeks has not notified the ACE, Mr. Rudolph or Atlantic Beach officials when the work will start. The earliest it can start is mid-November because of environmental regulations.
It will average what Mr. Rudolph called a “whopping” 89 cubic yards of sand per linear foot. However, he said this is not the same kind of project as the three phases of the Florence work, which has in the past and will this winter build dunes and plant vegetation, with less emphasis on the flat beach.
Instead, this one will result in sand going out as much as 100 feet into the ocean, building up the nearshore slope and the flat “towel” beach. Essentially, it has much the same effect as building the dunes, as the additional volume slows waves as they come ashore, offering protection to structures on the oceanfront.
“It’s kind of like a shock absorber,” Mr. Rudolph said.
He said he’s talked to officials at Fort Macon and “they’re glad to have the sand. The rocks at the jetty and at the bathhouse have become pretty exposed.”
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.