Editorial: Updated Carolina Beach Lake Dredging Project Schedule

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 22 February 2017 05:00

Managing Editor

The Town of Carolina Beach hired a company to dredge the Carolina Beach Lake. The point of the project is to increase the depth of the lake by removing muck and mud from the lake-bottom and in turn increase holding capacity in an effort to handle more storm water runoff during major rain events. ("Events" is code for tropical storms and hurricanes in addition to the abnormal freak 20+ inches of rain we got a couple of years ago).
It's a good plan.
Properties surrounding the Carolina Beach Lake traditionally flood during such storms because the lake overflows it's banks.
When the Town awarded a contract to a company to dredge the lake, Town staff pitched the project to the Town Council.
One of the more appealing points for Council members was that work would begin in February or March, continue until the end of May and then stop during the summer months. Work would resume in October during the slower fall months.
Not that anyone needs to be reminded, but Carolina Beach depends on it's tourism based economy to help fund local government and business owners. Summer months are the time our Town should be polished and ready to serve the tourists.
Having one of the largest focal points in Town - the Lake - appear as a giant construction site, isn't' conducive to promoting that positive image.
The Town Manager wishes to allow the contractor to work throughout the summer months in order to save money by reducing "mobilization costs" for the contractor.
That's understandable. If a contractor has to pause for the summer months it means they will have to reduce employee count and remove equipment from the area until the fall.
The issue is, we are talking about 1,000 truck loads of mud that can smell really bad on a hot summer day. Those loads will be transported by truck down residential streets to an area off Dow Road at the waste treatment plant.
Oooooh, Oooooh, that smell.
Not much better in the cooler months, but far better than smelling it in the hot summer sun.
On the other hand, if you are a parent who drops their child off at the Carolina Beach Elementary School, when the project progresses to the west side of the lake and trucks are hauling material from the lake right in front of the school, it might no be a bad idea to get that portion of the project finished when school's out for the summer break. That way it lessens the need for trucks to roar by while kids are arriving and leaving school for the day either in a bus or in their parents vehicle. With either schedule there are good and bad points. Let's just hope there aren't any unforeseen obstacles and this project, and others, are completed soon so life in that area can get back to normal.


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