Duck delays raising N.C. 12, installing living shoreline; survey underway on flooding in five neighborhoods

Duck delays raising N.C. 12, installing living shoreline; survey underway on flooding in five neighborhoods

December 15th, 2022

The Town of Duck has decided to delay a project that would upgrade protection of N.C. 12 from flooding by the Currituck Sound, and is conducting a survey about stormwater flooding issues elsewhere in the town as part of a study for a separate project.

On Tuesday, officials announced the Duck Road coastal resiliency project scheduled to take place this fall and winter has been deferred for one year as funding from the federal government and permitting for the project are pending final reviews.

More details from the town’s website:

“(The) multi-faceted project is intended to significantly improve this stretch along Duck Road (N.C. Highway 12) by restoring the natural habitat and stabilizing the shoreline along the Currituck Sound, providing ADA accessibility and alternative means of travel for pedestrians and bicyclists, raising the elevation of Duck Road to reduce its vulnerability to flooding, and installing a stormwater management system to improve water quality in the Currituck Sound.”

Aerial photograph with the proposed projects on N.C. 12 between Dune Road and Barrier Island Station. [Vanesse Hangen Brustlin illustration, courtesy Coastal Review]
Duck has been awarded grants for various components of the project from the N.C. Division of Emergency Management, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Dare County Tourism Board, and Dare County Soil and Water Conservation.

“The project includes 988 linear feet of breakwater sills, protection of 21,234 square feet of existing marsh, 12,168 square feet of marsh restoration, and 920 linear feet of riprap revetment,” according to the town’s application for a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The revetment would be intended to prevent erosion and protect the roadway and adjacent private property, help reduce wave energy, and prevent debris from accumulating in the roadway, Coastal Review reported in March.

Aerial photograph for a proposed living shoreline and section of N.C. 12 to be elevated in Duck. [Vanesse Hangen Brustlin photo]

“(T)he largest portion of this $2.8 million project’s financing comes from a substantial grant through FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program. 

“The town has been informed of this grant award by FEMA, pending final review of the project by federal agencies.  As this review may take several additional months, it has become clear that the town will not be able to construct the proposed project within the originally intended timeframe.”

Duck’s is one of 22 projects selected across the country for fiscal 2020. The projects are under one of seven categories: elevation, flood control, floodproofing, relocation, shelter project, utility and infrastructure protection, and wildfire management. The Duck project is in the elevation category.

State environmental regulators are also still reviewing permits for the project.

“As it appears this permitting process may involve minor amendments to the proposed plans, it may also take additional months to complete before construction will be permitted. 

The Town’s consulting engineers with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) have completed and submitted detailed designs, site plans, and specifications for the project.

Following the initial reviews, VHB has submitted additional information, design changes, and responses to FEMA and state agencies.”

The project was scheduled for the off-season due to occasional lane closures required through the project area along heavily-traveled N.C. 12.

“The timing of the BRIC grant funding and state agency review makes it unfeasible for the Town to construct the coastal resiliency project in this year’s construction cycle, meaning that project construction is unlikely to begin earlier than mid-October 2023.

“Although disappointed that the project will not proceed this year, the town recognizes the significant financial benefits of obtaining the BRIC grant.

“With the BRIC grant and other funding sources, it’s estimated that the town may not incur any expense for the $2.8 million cost of this project, making this project an extraordinary example of stretching your tax dollars to achieve substantial public benefits. 

“Deferral of the project will also allow more time to revise easements as necessary along the eastern side the project.”

For more information on the project, contact Joe Heard, Director of Community Development.

Grant awarded to study five Duck neighborhoods experiencing stormwater flooding

The Town of Duck has been awarded grant funding through the NC Division of Coastal Management’s Resilient Coastal Communities Program  to begin a Neighborhood Stormwater Management Study.

Similar studies are underway in Currituck, Dare and Hyde counties, and in Nags Head, Hatteras village, Ocracoke and the Town of Hertford.

Five residential neighborhoods in Duck have been identified that experience routine flooding from stormwater runoff. This study will investigate the causes of the flooding, engage affected property owners, and evaluate potential solutions.

An online survey is being conducted through January 15, 2023, to accept a comment at the specific areas where residents and property owners experience flooding or damage due to flooding.

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