Emerald Isle beach nourishment project gears up; 2 dredging projects set to go

Pipes like these will soon be on the strand in Emerald Isle, as they're being delivered in the next week for a beach nourishment project to start between Jan. 24-31. (Contributed photo)

EMERALD ISLE — Equipment for the soon-to-start Emerald Isle beach nourishment project should arrive by next week, with work scheduled to begin between Jan. 24-31.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, said in an email Thursday the water-based equipment – submerged pipelines, tugboats and ancillary vessels – will arrive first at the staging area, which is the vehicular beach access at the Ocean Drive “dog leg,” near the Eastern Ocean Regional Access.

“The land-based pipe, office shacks, trucks and bulldozers and front-end loaders are scheduled to begin to be delivered to the site via flatbed trucks late next week,” Mr. Rudolph added, and the hopper dredge, the Liberty Island, from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., will sail into the area during the start-up week.

Mr. Rudolph said he and Emerald Isle officials had their first of what will be weekly meetings with the contractor, Great Lakes, and the county’s beach engineering firm, Moffatt & Nichol, Wednesday, and everything is set for the $36.1 million project to get underway.

The effort totals 9.4 linear miles of beach in Emerald Isle, with 166,350 cubic yards of sand to be deposited in the extreme western strand off Coast Guard Road, 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.

The Ellis Island, Great Lakes’ larger dredge, will eventually join the project in order to make sure it’s complete by the Thursday, April 15 environmental deadline.

The sand borrow site is off Atlantic Beach, and work will begin in extreme western Emerald Isle.

Meanwhile, Mr. Rudolph said Thursday T.D. Eure of Beaufort is set to begin dredging the Old Ferry Channel in Bogue Sound between Cape Carteret and Emerald Isle Monday, and the New Jersey-based Weeks Marine dredge is in the county and set to begin dredging channels at the State Port of Morehead City.

T.D. Eure will dredge not only Old Ferry Channel, but also Deer Creek, which provides water access to many residents in Cape Carteret. The cost is $1.45 million, and Eure will start work at the farthest point, near the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and move toward the mainland.

Cape Carteret will pay a share of the cost, which Mr. Rudolph estimated will range from $15,753 to a max of $22,496. Property owners along the sections to be dredged have pledged to pay their share, which is roughly half of that range. The state, through its Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund will pay two-thirds of the cost of the entire project.

Dredged material from Deer Creek will be stored, until it dries out, on two properties owned by Paxon Holz and another owned by John “Bubba” McLean and John McLean.

As for the federally-funded $18 million channel dredging project at the port, it will result in removal of 1.14 million cubic yards of material, all of which will be placed on the beaches in Fort Macon State Park and Atlantic Beach.

Under a longstanding agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which funds dredging to keep the port accessible to large vessels, Atlantic Beach gets the sand free because it’s the closest place to deposit the dredged sand.

 

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

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