Posted on December 8, 2023
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — A $6.5 million dredging project is underway in Murrells Inlet.
The project stems from President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law and will be completed by the Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The most recent cycle of maintenance was in 2017. More than 500,000 cubic yards of sand was distributed onto Garden City Beach and Huntington State Park.
“They started dredging in November and then, we’re going to hopefully finish up in early spring, late winter,” said Jacob Kyzar, a project manager.
The federal navigation project is nearly two miles long. Kyzar said the Army Corps is using two cutter suction dredges for maintenance on the area’s beaches.
“They’re basically acting like a big vacuum cleaner and they’re sucking sand out of the channel and out of the adjacent deposition base,” he said. “We’re beneficial using that material on the beaches.”
Kyzar said not only will the project help replenish the beaches, but it will also help boats navigate the channel. He said the channel will be 12 feet by 300 feet across the sand bar.
Kyzar said the funding has made a difference on the project than previous beach re-nourishments.
“This project, actually this time, was funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law that was passed about a year ago, which allowed us to get started quicker than we would have on our normal funding budget,” he said.
Their timeline is dependent on Congress. Kyzar said maintenance cycles are about every five to seven years.
Kyzar said the work area will be closed from the public, but all points of access along the beach are still open — although some pipeline and heavy equipment might be visible.
“Charleston District, we live and work in all these communities — and we’re happy to be able to, to provide this beneficial use of sand on this project,” he said.
A couple of nearby residents said they’re excited for the project, and that their houses wouldn’t be there without it.