Hatteras Inlet, Rodanthe Projects Discussed in
Detail at Waterways Commission Meeting
By JOY CRIST
number of imminent and proposed dredging projects were tackled at the
Dare County Waterways Commission meeting, which was held at the
Fessenden Center in Buxton on Monday, September 11.
archaeological survey that would allow the Corps of Engineer to dredge
the southern channel in Hatteras Inlet has been completed by Dare
County. As a result, the Corps will be able to start dredging with the
sidecaster dredge, the Merritt, starting on Wednesday, assuming the
new area of dredging, referred to at the meeting as the “Southern
Connecting Channel,” is located south of where the initial early summer
dredging of the connecting channel took place, and is an area with
deeper waters that has been utilized by charter boats in recent weeks.
The Corps is allowed to dredge for 10 days due to a moratorium that
allows dredging during the otherwise off-limits timeframe of March
through October, and this 10 day period does not include days where
dredging may be cancelled due to inclement weather. $440,000 has been
provided by the county to complete this project.
the dredging of the southern channel is complete, the hopper dredges
the Currituck and the Meriden are schedule to perform maintenance
dredging in early November. The sidecaster dredge performing the
initial work, the Merritt, will be unavailable for roughly 6-7 months
after this imminent dredging project due to scheduled repairs.
dredging will take place inside the box where the survey was conducted,
and the expanse of the area gives the Corps the ability to follow the
best waters. “We do have flexibility and a little leeway where Dare
County did an archeological study,” said Jim Medlock, civil works
project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
will actually require less dredging, and the environmental impact will
be less because of the deeper water,” said Commission member Capt.
Ernie Foster. “Being in the position where we are now, we can go where
there’s the deepest water which gives us two advantages - an economic
advantage and an environmental advantage. It’s two wins, and no losses.”
was additional good news about an upcoming $5.8 million dollar project
that included sections of Hatteras Inlet, and particularly Rollison
new project for the Corps, which was recently approved, will tackle
several problem areas, which includes the area from the Breakwater to
about 1,500 feet out, and portions of the Rollison Channel.
project was approved because the Corps was able to show that these
areas were affected and altered after Hurricane Matthew. “The funds
that we have focus on that part of the channel where we were able to
show [a difference] before and after Matthew,” said Medlock.
timeframe for this dredging project has not been set in stone, however
the Corps hope to have the contract for this project this week, and to
be able to start by November.
discussions surfaced several times during the meeting, with
commissioners concerned about dredging before or after Jose’s potential
impacts. In addition, the commission discussed the Rodanthe / Stumpy
Point emergency ferry route, which is utilized after a storm when
access is cut off to the island.
Bock, Hatteras operations superintendent for the NCDOT Ferry Division,
reported that they were able to make a dry run at Stumpy Point 14 days
ago, but noted that conditions could change with a full ferry loaded
down with vehicles.
Bock also reported that a request was in the works to perform emergency dredging in Rodanthe.
reason we maintain these two harbors is because of the possibility that
we may be cut off,” said Commissioner Foster. “That’s something that
[we] need to be fairly cognizant of.”
commission also voted to be more proactive in future projects,
especially in finding dredge spoil sites for potential upcoming
projects in the area.
members of the commission were present at the Monday night meeting, as
well as representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, the NCDOT Ferry
Division, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The next meeting of the Dare County Waterways Commission is currently scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10 in Buxton.