Council Hears Beach Nourishment Project Update

Equipment was delivered last month to the beach front on the North End of Pleasure Island. A project to pump sand on to the beach front in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach is preparing to begin. Pumping will start in Carolina Beach  on February 16th, and then work will proceed south to Kure Beach. Equipment was delivered last month to the beach front on the North End of Pleasure Island. A project to pump sand on to the beach front in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach is preparing to begin. Pumping will start in Carolina Beach on February 16th, and then work will proceed south to Kure Beach.

Council Hears Beach Nourishment Project Update Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 13 February 2019 00:28

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  The Carolina Beach Town Council received an update from Jim Medlock of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers on a project to pump sand on to the beach front in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach during their February 12th, meeting.

Equipment and pipes were delivered to the beach front on the North End of Pleasure Island last month in preparation for a Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project - commonly called beach renourishment.

Hurricane Florence eroded the beach front in both Towns. In many areas dunes suffered heavy erosion leaving twelve to fifteen foot high escarpments or cliffs. The project was already scheduled for the Spring of 2019. Following Florence, additional funding was provided to address the increased erosion.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wilmington District announced that the periodic nourishment contract was awarded on Nov. 30, 2018, at a cost of approximately $17.4-million to Weeks Marine, Incorporated.

For the Carolina Beach Portion of the project, sand will be pumped from the Carolina Beach Inlet on the north end of Pleasure Island through pipes along the beach front to an area near the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier. Sand will be pumped along 2.7 miles of beach in Carolina Beach. That process will begin on February 16th and work will take place 24 hours a day to meet the overall project completion date of April 30th to avoid sea turtle nesting season.

Once the Carolina Beach portion of the project is complete, the contractor will move to Kure Beach and begin pumping sand from an offshore borrow area through a pipe to shore and complete work prior to the April 30th deadline. 

Project Manager Jim Medlock explained, "The Corps was fortunate to receive additional emergency funding to cover these repairs at 100 percent federal cost," and, "This allows us to place more sand on the shoreline while reducing the amount of non-Federal funding required to accomplish the overall contract scope."

During a meeting of the Carolina Beach Town Council on February 12th, Medlock  explained, "Because of the damage from Hurricane Florence, we were able to modify the contract just before it went out on the street to include those damages from Florence as part of this contract. So we are fixing those repairs with this same contract."

He explained, "Every project that the Army Corp has, has an authorized height and width. If the sand out there is higher and wider than what the Army Corp of Engineers authorized project is, we don't have to put sand out there. That means the project as is is working just like it was planned and designed. It's helping to prevent damages to homes and businesses on the other side of the dunes from hurricanes."

He explained Weeks Marine will begin work in Carolina Beach on February 16th and is burying the pipe under the sand in Freeman Park in order to not interfere with four wheel drive vehicle traffic and camping within the park. Crews will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week and there will be lights positioned on the beach.

Medlock said a new website will be available online at the Army Corp's website to allow the public to monitor where crews are working and the overall progress.

That website will be www.saw.usace.army.mil

If property owners have questions regarding the project, Medlock can be reached at 910-251-4836 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Several residents living in the Sea Colony Condos on South Lake Park Blvd, expressed strong concerns with a lack of beach nourishment occurring in front of their homes.

Sea Colony resident John Moore explained said their 75 residents feel abandoned because for the past couple of renourishment cycles in 2013 and 2016, no sand has been placed on the beach in front of their buildings at the southern portion of the Carolina Beach project area.

Medlock explained the beach and dunes in that area may be higher and wider than what is permitted under the  project template approved by Congress many years ago.

He explained work is still not complete on a post-Florence survey of the beach in that area and once that survey is complete, the project may be modified to include sand being placed in that area.

Medlock said once that survey information is complete, he will examine the data and meet with residents over the phone or in person to give them an update.

During a meeting of the Kure Beach Town Council on Monday January 28th, Councilman Allen Oliver explained, "Contractor is on site. You may have seen the small boat offshore. They are doing surveys and updating the surveys so we will know exactly how much sand we lost and how much further we can go with renourishment for the hurricane with the additional funding we received. The contractor is mobilized in Carolina Beach because that's the closest place to start. Should be on the North End."

He explained, "They've held their pre-construction meeting with the Town of Carolina Beach. At some point they will notify us for a meeting in which we will get Jimmy and John involved in those meetings and we will talk about our storm water out fall [pipes] and what work Jimmy can start on, whether they will be outside of the template for renourishment. They are supposed to start in our area around February 23rd and everything has to be finished by the end of April. A tremendous amount of sand to move. It could be more, but we haven't been given those exact numbers yet but we should know something soon when their post storm surveys are complete."

He explained, "They are bringing in a huge dredge out there. The biggest one they've ever brought. There is a possibility of a hopper dredge bringing sand into the shore without having to pump it. Again, a tremendous amount of sand. There is money in there for replacement  of some [drainage] out falls and piping that was lost. We just need to see what that post storm survey bring us."

Oliver said, "One other thing, you will see construction zones set up with orange fencing to protect the citizens and their workers since they will be running dozers and big pipes in. Where those fences are, we need to stay out of those areas. They will actually move their mobile office down the beach."

According to Lisa Parker of the USACE, "Periodic nourishment, or placement of additional sand along the shoreline, helps ensure that this project continues to provide authorized storm risk reduction benefits to homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure as well as providing an outstanding recreational resource to the public until the next scheduled nourishment event, normally every three years. This year’s contract is unique because it also includes additional repairs to the shoreline for sand lost due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018."

Interim Carolina Beach Town Manager Ed Parvin explained on November 30th, "We have received a total of about $3.4 million in additional Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies Federal funding (with NO additional non-Federal cost sharing required) to be combined with existing Federal and non-Federal funding amounts to award the 2018/2019 periodic nourishment contract." The overall cost for Carolina Beach is $7.8 million.

Parvin explained, "These additional funds were provided solely for impacts to both of these project's shorelines due to recent impacts caused by the passage of Hurricane Florence.

The plans we reviewed together with ACOE in October have not changed.  Bottom line - Receipt of these additional non-cost shared funds would place more sand on our shoreline at a lower non-Federal costs. Based on the current contract award cost, its estimated that our non-Federal funding requirement has been
reduced by approximately $600,000 at Carolina Beach and $600,000 at Kure Beach to award this contract.  Please keep in mind that once the contractor conducts pre-placement surveys at both beaches before any construction begins, sand quantities are likely to increase and the effective contract price will also increase, requiring more cost-shared Federal and non-Federal funds being needed on the modified contract."

He explained, "For Carolina Beach, this drops the effective non-Federal costs per cubic yard of sand placed from $2.34 to $1.70. For Kure Beach, this drops the effective non-Federal costs per cubic yard of sand placed from $4.34 to $3.40."

The last beach renourishment project was in 2016 when the Army Corp of Engineers completed a project to pump sand on to the beach front in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach.

The project cost is shared with the Federal Government paying 65% and the State of North Carolina and local governments splitting the remaining 35%. A tax on hotel, motel, and vacation rental accommodations funds the local government portion of the project cost. Both Towns are on a three-year renourishment cycle with the next project scheduled for the Spring of 2019.

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