Posted on December 24, 2020
CAPE CARTERET — The long-awaited Old Ferry Channel/Deer Creek dredging project approved by Carteret County commissioners last week is expected to start in earnest the first week of January.
That was the word Dec. 14 from Greg Rudolph, manager of the County Shore Protection Office, which oversees dredging, after a pre-project meeting Friday.
Old Ferry Channel runs through Bogue Sound from Cape Carteret to Emerald Isle, crossing the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and Deer Creek and its tributaries afford water access to hundreds of Cape Carteret boaters who want to get safely out into the sound and the AIWW.
“T.D. Eure will start dredging in earnest the first working day of the new year and plans to address the Old Ferry Channel … itself first,” Mr. Rudolph said in an email. The Beaufort company was the low bidder for the project at $1.45 million. “They will likely work from the farthest point (near the AIWW) towards the mainland.
“In the interim,” he added, “We also have an important pre-construction meeting with the resource agencies this Thursday (Dec. 17). We generally review all the permit conditions and make sure we’re all on the same page. This falls in the realm of standard operating procedure, but it’s very important.”
He said under the schedule, “all the disposal site preparation work, surveying, etc. will be conducted between now and the end of the year. That survey is important because it provides a new snapshot to what the site conditions are.”
Some areas, he added, “may have shoaled in more since the last survey, but some areas may have scoured out. It shouldn’t dramatically impact our numbers, but … it matters and it’s important for payment reasons, as well.”
In Cape Carteret, work will be done in in portions of Deer Creek North, Deer Creek South, the connection between Deer Creek and the Old Ferry Channel, Schoolhouse Creek and Deer Creek North Extension, which runs in a culvert under Manatee Street.
Dredged depths are supposed to be 6 feet or up to 1 foot more for Old Ferry Channel, 5 feet or up to one-half foot more for the Deer Creek Connector, 4 feet or up to 0.5 foot more for Deer Creek North, 4 feet or up to 0.5 foot more for Schoolhouse Creek, 5 feet or up to 0.5 foot more for Deer Creek South and 4 feet or up to 0.5 foot more for Deer Creek North Extension.
Mr. Rudolph said what that means is the exact numbers represent the designed templates for the sections. If the contractor exceeds the additional depth allowed, it doesn’t get paid for that additional depth and material dredged.
Deer Creek North Extension is particularly important to town officials as they say it silted in badly after problems arose with an N.C. Coastal Federation artificial wetlands/storm water retention system on the west side of Manatee Drive during and since Hurricane Florence in September 2018.
The town will pay a share of the cost, which Mr. Rudolph estimated Monday will range from $15,753.33 to a max of $22,496.67. Property owners along the sections to be dredged have pledged to pay their share, which is roughly half of that range.
The state, through its Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund, which gets revenue from fees for new and transferred boat titles and the tax on boat fuel, will pay two-thirds of the cost of the entire project.
Dredged material from Deer Creek will be stored, until it dries out, on two properties owned by Paxon Holz and another owned by John “Bubba” McLean and John McLean, who volunteered those properties and support the project. They get to keep the sand to use or sell.
Once dredging starts in Deer Creek, Mr. Rudolph said residents should be prepared to see the dredge vessel and hear some noise from roughly 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.