BEAUFORT — Carteret County Coastal Protection Office Director Ryan Davenport said Thursday the county is still awaiting the necessary permits to begin the dredging project east of Taylors Creek and use the sand to feed the public beach and other areas of Radio Island.
The main permit needed, he said, is from the US Army Corps of Engineers, and he has no idea when that will come.
“We’re doing everything we can to speed things up,” said Davenport, who returned to work on Tuesday. “We just have to wait and see what the permit looks like when we get it.”
The initial goal was to start work in January.
The dredging must be completed by the environmental deadline of Friday, April 1, which is primarily aimed at protecting sea turtles that begin arriving in area waters in the spring.
Carteret County officials opened two bids for the project Dec. 15 in Beaufort, and the lower of the two came from TD Eure Marine Construction of Beaufort at $1.575 million. The county has $1.965 million for the project, including $1.3 million from the NC Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund and $650,000 from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Typically, the state fund pays two-thirds of the cost of these projects and the local government provides one-third. The federal grant is for the county’s one-third share.
The county has been planning the Taylors Creek/Radio Island project for several years. Initially, the idea was to dredge and realign east Taylors Creek to match the rest of the creek, along the Beaufort waterfront, and deposit the spoil on the Atlantic Veneer property on the way Lennoxville to Beaufort.
However, Hurricane Florence in 2018 caused severe erosion along parts of Radio Island, so Greg Rudolph, then Carteret County Coastal Protection Officer, changed the plan this year to place the dredged material the along Marine Road, which the US Navy uses, and where erosion threatens two utility poles. This was a major factor in winning the federal grant, as was the fact that beach access is heavily used by military families.
Spoil should be spread roughly from the Old Town Yacht Club southward parallel to Marine Road to the Landing Craft utility ramp and bulkhead approximately 2,800 linear feet.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email [email protected]; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.