- Published on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 22:09
- Written by Super User
Pictured above: The area just south of the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier on Tuesday May 7. Beach renourishment started last week in Carolina Beach. The project has been delayed and is now expected to be complete by May 31. Crews will be working around the clock to finish as soon as possible.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
CAROLINA BEACH - Crews with Louisiana based Week's Marine began beach nourishment last week in Carolina Beach.
A large pipe will run from a pipeline dredge at the Carolina Beach Inlet south to the area of the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier at the end of Carolina Beach Avenue North. From there the sand will be distributed south along the beachfront via the pipeline to an area near the Carolina Beach Boardwalk in the downtown area.
According to Roberts Keistler, PE, Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers Wilmington District, the initial schedule was for Week's Marine to complete beach nourishment in Kure Beach by March 31st and move to Carolina Beach to complete that project by April 30.
Due to mechanical delays at a neighboring project at Bald Head Island to remove sand from shoals leading into the Wilmington Harbor and place that material on the beach, the Carolina Beach project has been delayed.
For the Kure Beach project, two hopper dredges were set for the project, but due to mechanical issues, only one dredge was operating.
The plan was for the Kure Beach project to be completed by mid April and the Carolina Beach project by mid to late May.
Keistler said the environmental window of time to complete the project in Kure Beach was different from Carolina Beach because hopper dredge vessels are more likely to encounter endangered sea turtles than a pipe line dredge drawing sand from within an inlet area.
That's why Kure Beach originally was set to be done by March 31 and Carolina Beach by April 30 due to the sea turtle nesting season beginning around that time.
An extension was granted by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) for Kure Beach and the Carolina Beach project.
In Carolina Beach the contractor is monitoring the beach for sea turtles and nests and are taking steps to protect the turtles both during and after the project is completed.
With Kure Beach completed, the plan is for the Carolina Beach project to be completed by May 31. There are 17 blocks to go. On Tuesday May 7, Town Senior Planner Ed Parvin said he is getting updates from the Army Corp of Engineers. The contractor plans to work 24 hours a day seven days a week renourishing a block of area every day and a half.
Parvin said he's been fielding phone calls and emails from property owners about when the project will be on the beach in front of their home or rental properties.
Some residents are concerned about how the project may conflict with their vacation plans, or the experience for vacationers renting their properties.
Keistler said last month that crews are required to block off beach access ramps and rope off the beach to prohibit pedestrian traffic for safety reasons due to the movement of heavy equipment in the area.
He told the Council last month they hoped to be completed by the busy Memorial Day weekend.
Crews will work as fast as possible while taking into consideration delays due to poor weather conditions.
He said an exact schedule of when crews would be working in certain areas was not possible.
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.