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Dredging Of The Carolina Beach Inlet Has Begun; Beach Nourishment Pipes Being Delivered

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Army Corps of Engineers is managing an Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AICW) Inlet Crossing Maintenance Dredging Contract that began  work Friday February 22.
That project includes the Carolina Beach Inlet Crossing and parts of Snow's Cut. Dredge material that is "beach compatible" is scheduled to be placed on the beach at the north end of Freeman Park. The project is anticipated to last 4 to 5 weeks.
Freeman Park will remain open, however the Carolina Beach Police Department is advising the public to use caution and stay away from the large pipes and construction areas. Entering posted beach areas can be very dangerous due to the heavy equipment and spoils being pumped on the shoreline.
A floating and submerged pipeline will run along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway channel to the Carolina Beach disposal area within Freeman Park.  
According to a release from the Town of Carolina Beach last week, "Mariners are cautioned to stay clear of dredge, booster, floating (pontoon) and submerged pipelines, barges, derricks and operating wires associated with dredging and marine construction operations. Operators of vessels of all types should be aware that dredges and floating pipelines are held in place by cables, attached to anchors some distance away from the equipment. Dredging projects are usually conducted twenty-four (24) hours a day seven (7) days a week, A NO WAKE transit is requested of all vessels passing the dredge and if necessary to clarify a SAFE PASSAGE contact the dredge on the appropriate VHF-FM channels 13 or 16."
Robert Keistler, PE, Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Wilmington District, said Tuesday there are three projects scheduled for Carolina Beach.
The first is dredging of the Carolina Beach Inlet Crossing and parts of Snow's Cut in the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. That project, conducted by Southwind Construction, is underway and will pump sand on to the beach within Freeman Park using a pipeline.
Another company, Week's Marine, is scheduled to begin dredging near the Carolina Beach Inlet in the coming weeks. That sand will be pumped through a pipeline south to the beachfront within Carolina Beach Town limits for a beach nourishment project. 
Another project conducted by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers dredge "Merit" should begin over the next four weeks. That project will dredge the shallow draft Carolina Beach Inlet to a depth of eight feet and 100' feet wide. That project will ensure safe navigation for vessels using the inlet for access to the Atlantic Ocean.
Once that project begins it should take ten days to complete.
Pipes are being delivered to Kure Beach in preparation for that portion of a beach nourishment project.
Equipment has been scheduled to be on site March 1st. This is a joint renourishment for Carolina and Kure Beach.
Leaders in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach received good news in early December, the Army Corp of Engineers located additional funding from another project to provide $9.3 million for beach nourishment in both Towns.
As a part of the federally sponsored Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project in place for the two communities, $4,681,500 will be invested on Carolina Beach and $4,635,550 will be invested on Kure Beach. The funds were approved by Congress in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012. The dredging contractor is Covington, L.A. based Weeks Marine Inc.
The projects were bid along with a project for neighboring Bald Head Island and the Wilmington Harbor dredging project. That project will dredge sand from the mouth of the Cape Fear River inlet and place it on eroded areas of the beach on Bald Head Island.
Once that's complete, Weeks Marine will move to Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. The project will pump 680,000 cubic yards of sand on to Carolina Beach from the North End Pier south to the Carolina Beach Lake. It will also pump 432,000 cubic yards on to Kure Beach from the southern beach in Carolina Beach to an area north of the Kure Beach Pier. A final section is south of that pier.