March 11, 2016
Dare County Board of Commissioners will meet on Thursday, March 17, at
8:30 a.m. in the Dare County Administration Building in Manteo to
review and approve bids received from dredge contractors for the beach
nourishment project in the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, and Kill
Dare Commissioners to consider beach nourishment bids for towns
Four bids were opened on March 8 and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock
Company has been identified as the lowest responsible bidder. The
company's bid of $38,596,850 is approximately $4.9 million under budget
with work scheduled to begin in April 2017.
This is the second time that this project has been bid. The first
round of bids were rejected because they exceeded budget by almost $5
The towns also had planned to begin pumping sand onto their beaches
this summer, but, because of an extraordinary demand on dredges this
summer, no company in the first round of bidding could begin the
projects until September. A beach nourishment project in the fall and
winter northeaster season in considered too risky, expensive, and
unsafe in the waters off the Outer Banks.
Apparently, the towns will have to wait another year if the current lowest responsible bidder is approved by the commissioners.
The towns intend to pay for the nourishment projects with a combination
of money from the county's beach nourishment fund and increased taxes
on property owners, with oceanfront owners paying the most. The
beach nourishment fund in turn gets its money from a 2 percent county
occupancy tax on accommodations.
Dare County also hopes to start a long-awaited, much-anticipated
dredging project in north Buxton this summer, also paid for mostly by
the beach nourishment fund.
However, the Buxton project, to nourish 2.9 miles of beach from
approximately the Canadian Hole to the old site of the Cape Hatteras
Lighthouse to protect Highway 12, does not even have all the permits
that it needs yet to be put out for bid -- though it expects to have
The demand on dredges and the over-budget bids by contractors on the
town projects is a concern for county officials, property owners, and
island residents who want to see the Buxton project finished by next
The county's timeline for the Buxton project is ambitious -- permitting
in early April or so, projects put out for bid in late April, and bids
approved and work starting by late May or June.
The commissioners have also set a public hearing for 10 a.m. on Monday,
April 4, on its proposal to establish a tax service district that would
include the 34 oceanfront property owners who would benefit from the
nourishment project. Those property owners would be expected to
pay increased taxes to help fund the beach restoration.