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Preparations underway for WB nourishment project, dredging to start next month

Preparations to place sand on Wrightsville Beach have begun, with the actual dredging to occur, likely after the holidays.

Posted on December 20, 2023

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — Sand will officially begin being pumped onto Wrightsville Beach starting next month.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, heading up the project, said mobilization and prep work has begun.

“While we initially stated that we ‘expected’ actual sand placement to begin by next week, the ongoing preparations are still on track,” spokesperson Dave Connolly said. “Mobilization efforts continue and equipment is starting to be placed on the beach in preparation for sand placement.”

He explained the original estimated timeline of the week of Dec. 17 was to inform the public it could happen. Crews began moving equipment into Banks Channel, toward the south end of the beach and into Masonboro Inlet.

“We just haven’t begun to pump sand yet,” Connolly said. “All the work is happening in order to safely do that.”

He also said since it’s still very early in the window allowed for the work to take place — Nov. 16 to March 30 — there is no fear the contractor will not be completed on time.

“Any construction project of this magnitude has schedule that are subject to changes for various reasons (weather, maintenance issues etc),” Connolly added.

The project will place 1 million cubic yards of sand from the south of the Blockade Runner on Seashore Street to the north of the Holiday Inn Resort Lumina at beach access number 8.

USACE awarded a $13.6 million contract to the Charleston, South Carolina, company Marinex Construction, Inc. for the renourishment. The project is 100% federally funded.

Wrightsville Beach has been in need of sand since 2022, when its last renourishment cycle was scheduled. The dredge was postponed and moved locations twice, largely due to a reinterpretation of the federal Coastal Barrier Resource Act.

Residents can follow the project progress on the USACE tracker.


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