Town Of Carolina Beach Working Towards Restarting Lake Dredge Project

Town Of Carolina Beach Working Towards Restarting Lake Dredge Project

Town Of Carolina Beach Working Towards Restarting Lake Dredge Project Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 20 January 2021 05:07

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH -  The Town of Carolina Beach continues to explore ways to complete a project started in 2017 to dredge the Carolina Beach Lake to add more capacity for storm water runoff.
The Town of Carolina Beach continues to search for options to dispose of material dredged from the Carolina Beach Lake in 2017 as part of a $2.7 million dollar project to create more capacity in the lake to hold storm runoff.
Dredging was suspended August 29th, 2017 when the U.S. Army demanded the Town stop hauling dirt to land leased to the Town since the 1970's for a wastewater treatment plant off Dow Road.  The Town was placing the dirt at an unapproved location on the property.
The Army operates the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (MOTSU) on the west side of the Cape Fear River and they are currently working with neighboring local governments regarding land use in the area. The terminal is one of two large volume deep-water ammunition terminals in the continental United States. Operations take place on the other side of the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County and the "buffer zone" occupies a large portion of Pleasure Island encompassing land in both Carolina Beach and Kure Beach on  the riverside of the Island.
That land is where the Town was depositing the dredge material. The Town previously had permission to dispose of the material in a limited area near the wastewater treatment plant. The Town late expanded that disposal area without getting permission from the Army.
Later, it was determined that some samples showed increased levels of arsenic in the dredged material which in later tests showed below normal levels.
The east side of the lake is more shallow than the western half that was dredged in 2017. The goal of that project was to make the lake deeper to a consistent depth of 6' to 8' feet and improve capacity to hold approximately 16 million gallons of storm water runoff that has traditionally caused flooding of surrounding properties and roadways. The total volume to be removed from the lake was estimated to be approximately 83,000 cubic yards of material. The original completion date for the project was scheduled for February 9th, 2018. When the project was suspended August 29th, the  contractor had removed approximately 30,000 cubic yards of material to the wastewater treatment plant.
The Carolina Beach Lake has historically flooded during major rain events and hurricanes with flood waters impacting large residential and commercial areas.
The overall purpose of the project was to increase capacity in the lake in conjunction with a pumping station and improved
drain pipes that can pump water to the ocean and into a ditch that leads to the Cape Fear River prior to a weather event.
During the Town Council's January 12th, 2021 meeting, Town Manager Bruce Oakley explained they had looked at other options that seemed more costly and, "We are in the process of working on a request for proposals on the lake dredge including on how to dredge the lake and the disposal of the spoils (dirt) so we
hopefully we will have something put out real soon and we can see what we get. We are not exactly sure but we are going to request some creative proposals so that will be out there very shortly."

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