Contractor Weeks Marine finished its sand dredging in Southern Shores on Nov. 22, according to an update about the beach nourishment project posted on the Town website today.
The Town’s update also said that consultant/liaison Coastal Planning and Engineering of N.C. is currently surveying the beach and will be providing the Town with “the results to indicate that the project was constructed as designed.”
The project, which was slated to be completed by mid-December, appears to be complete–although the eye of the beach beholder may suggest otherwise.
Confusion arose last Friday on the social media site, Nextdoor, about the status of the dredging work, when Southern Shores property owners questioned whether Weeks Marine had sufficiently replenished the beach north of Fifth Avenue, in particular, at the Hillcrest Beach. The person who initiated the conversational thread said he had spoken with Weeks Marine crew members on-site and been informed by them that the Southern Shores project was over. The property owner had a different viewpoint based on his observations.
We entered the Nextdoor thread in an effort to correct misinformation and eventually contacted Mayor Elizabeth Morey and Town Manager Cliff Ogburn, who responded on Friday with the issuance of a special announcement that read as follows:
“. . . Earlier this week Weeks Marine announced that they were leaving the Dare County project and would be coming back in March to finish the portion in the Town of Duck.
“Based on a visual inspection it is difficult to determine if the project design goal has been achieved.
“Town Staff has discussed these concerns with Coastal Planning and Engineering. We expect to receive surveys early next week to verify that our beach has received the nourishment it should have.
“Once we receive this information we will be in a much better position to share with you all the status of our project.”
We do not wish to speak for the Town, but we believe it is safe to say that the width of the beach as it appears to the naked eye is not the determining factor in assessing whether the beachfill project goals have been achieved.
If you have questions about the project, we suggest that you attend in person or via Zoom the next biweekly public update meeting, which will be held on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Pitts Center. You may log into Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86210244731?pwd=MWFYVWIQRHpYN0FneXBTUzZrZjZjIRQT09. The meeting ID is 862 1024 4731; the passcode is 730379.
THE SOUTHERN SHORES BEACON, 11/28/22