Posted December 9, 2018
After removing some of the optional jobs, such as grooming freshly renourished beaches, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $3.3-million contract to Southwind Construction Co. for work on area waterways.
The bid award is good news for Oak Island, which expects to receive 88,000 cubic yards of sand along an eroded section of the western part of the island near 69th Place West. It is expected to cover about 2,500 feet of beach.
It’s also possible the town will be able to contribute local money to the project to remove and place even more sand from the Lockwood Folly River crossing of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.
Brennan Dooley, shallow draft inlet manager for the Corps, said that the Corps was able to adjust the scope of work to get the contract out and there will be a pre-construction meeting on the timetable “soon.” The goal is to have the sand out of the inlet crossing and several other areas this winter.
Whether the contractor will be able to place additional sand on Oak Island depends in part on how soon the job gets started and whether bad weather or other factors delay the jobs.
At Lockwood Folly, the channel is federally authorized to be 350 feet wide, while the contract calls for clearing a 90-foot area, so there is additional beach-quality sand available, officials have said.
In additional to clearing the crossing, Corps officials intend to perform maintenance dredging of the Lockwood Folly inlet. Oak Island and other local officials are pressing the Corps to use a special-purpose hopper dredge for that work, instead of a sidecast dredge, which tosses the sand off to the side, something like a giant lawnmower. The hopper dredge can instead place sand in the nearshore environment, but not actually on the beach.
Other inlets scheduled for dredging this winter include Wrightsville Beach, Mason Creek, Shinn Creek, Ft. Macon. Brown Inlet and Shallotte River.