The Buxton Beach nourishment project is slated to being in the next few weeks with a tentative start date of May 21.
Visitors and residents may start to see equipment arrive in the next couple of weeks, as the contractor deposits staging materials at the old decommissioned Coast Guard Station parking area in Buxton. The project will be conducted by Weeks Marine, one of the largest providers of dredging services in the United States.
The first day of pumping sand is anticipated to be around May 21. The starting point for the project, where the offshore pipes connect with the onshore pipes, will be located at the oceanfront approximately 1000 feet north of the northern boundary of the village of Buxton. Weeks Marine is coordinating with the National Park Service to finalize their plan regarding whether pumping will initially proceed to the north or to the south. The whole project is expected to be completed within 90 days under normal conditions – approximately 55 days for the project area north of the starting point and approximately 35 days for the southern portion.
The Beach Nourishment project will address a 2.9 mile stretch of shoreline from roughly the Canadian Hole to the old site of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – an area that is regularly subjected to ocean over wash, and, subsequently, NC Highway 12 flooding.
During the three month process, 2.6 million cubic yards of sand will be deposited on the shoreline from a borrow pit that’s located 1.7 miles offshore. Crews will work on smaller segments of the beach at a time, working their way along the seashore, and will complete about 250 feet of beach a day, with a total work area of about 1,000 feet. Based on these numbers, it’s estimated that the beach in front of a home or area will be affected for a week, per a recent public meeting on the upcoming project.
As the project continues, sand will be deposited from the offshore dredge to the beach, and then shaped via a crew of dozers. The end result will be a shoreline that initially appears abnormally wide, but which will naturally change and adapt over time as storms blow through the area, and the sand migrates from the ocean to the dunes.
For more information on the Buxton Beach Nourishment project, visitors can refer to the website that has been created by the county to provide updates throughout the project, “More beach to love.” The website will show where the project is currently located, and sections as they are completed.