Council Hears Beach Nourishment Project Update

Council Hears Beach Nourishment Project Update

Council Hears Beach Nourishment Project Update Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 20 March 2019 16:45

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

KURE BEACH - The Kure 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 March 18th, 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. The project recently wrapped up in Carolina Beach and will now proceed to Kure Beach.

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. That amount later increased to $21 million dollars due to increased funding following Hurricane Florence.

For the Carolina Beach Portion of the project, sand was 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 was then  pumped along 2.7 miles of beach in Carolina Beach. That process began on February 16th and work continued 24 hours a day to meet the overall project completion date of April 30th to avoid sea turtle nesting season.

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 the March 18th, meeting Medlock explained, "The estimated Kure Beach contract cost is about $12 million. The estimated non-federal cost is $3 million just for the Kure Beach portion of the project. One of the reasons why the estimated non-federal cost is so low is because after Hurricane Florence, the federal government was able to get additional funds to place more sand for Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR) on Kure Beach and also Carolina Beach from the storm which has lowered the non-federal requirement for this project."

He explained sand will be placed from Alabama Avenue at the boundary of Carolina Beach and Kure Beach down to the Kure Beach Pier. Another portion of the project will go from E. Avenue south to the area of Camp Waytt Drive.

He explained, "The southern portion of the project is a much wider portion. This is the area where we will actually be replacing and fixing the dune. The dune suffered substantial damage in that part of the project and so now not only will be doing work on the dune but also on the berm which is the part that most people are familiar with facing the dune" and, "That is really the Town's last protective measure against wave action from a storm going into homes, businesses and infrastructure. So maintaining that dune is really a high priority here. The way we maintain those is to put sand in front of it going out into the ocean so over a three year period that sand slowly erodes away but the dune stands."

He explained, "We are thankful that most of the other locations here in Kure Beach, the dunes stood well and did a great job."

The project was originally constructed in 1998 and this will be the seventh time renourishment has taken place in Kure Beach.

Medlock said Hurricane Florence washed away approximately 260,000 cubic yards of sand which prompted the use of emergency funding.

Work on the northern portion of the project will begin the last week of March and move quickly to complete the project before Sea Turtle nesting season begins April 30th.

Medlock urged the public to stay behind orange safety fencing as the project moves down the beach. Once a portion of the beach is finished, the fencing will be moved.

Medlock said a website is 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.

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 cycl.
Several Carolina Beach 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 during the February meeting of the Carolina Beach Town Council.

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 was underway to complete a post-Florence survey of the beach in that area and once that survey was complete, the project may be modified to include sand being placed in that area.

On Tuesday March 19th, Carolina Beach Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin said following that survey, sand will now be placed along the entire beach front in Carolina Beach.

On March 8th, Medlock wrote in an email to Carolina Beach Mayor Joe Benson explaining, "The Corps is working with Weeks Marine to reach an agreement to continue to place sand within the southern portion of the Carolina Beach shoreline from Carolina Sands Drive southward."

Mayor Benson explained March 19th, "The Corps did direct Weeks Marine to place sand in front of and the beach around Sea Colony. Three very energized residents of Sea Colony led the charge. Outstanding civic action. Incidentally, the beach area at the Texas Ave access will get sand from the Kure Beach project."

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