The Town of Duck says Weeks Marine is planning to begin pumping sand on the beach north of the Army Corps of Engineers Pier on April 10 for the nourishment project that was delayed from 2022.
The contractor expects to complete the nourishment and have all equipment removed by Memorial Day, according to the town’s weekly email update sent Tuesday.
Weeks Marine reported earlier this month that shipyard delays for the dredges that will be used for the sand pumping had to push back their start date until April.
That schedule is dependent on weather and other conditions, and further delays are possible. Matting has been installed north of the pier to allow contractor vehicles and crews direct access to the beach.
Staging for the remaining beach nourishment work off Southern Shores and Duck took place earlier this month.
The Town of Duck announced in November their beach nourishment project from the Duck Pier to near Skimmer Way would be delayed until at least the middle of March.
Weeks Marine, the contractor for the 2022 projects off Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, said the delay was because they got behind due to equipment issues and weather-related delays, and they had a commitment to a time-sensitive job elsewhere.
The Southern Shores project had been reported as being completed in late October, but it was later determined that Weeks Marine placed less sand on the beach north of Fifth Avenue than planned.
Southern Shores Town Manager Cliff Ogburn said in a Feb. 24 email that Weeks Marine plans to mobilize equipment along the town’s beaches in early March.
“The project will start in Duck and finish with the addition of 37,500 cubic yards of sand in Southern Shores placed in the northern end of our project,” Ogburn said.
“This sand is to make sure our fill template reaches 22 cubic yards per foot at each station in the northern end of our project,” Ogden said. “On average we hit the mark, but not per station. So, they are coming back to finish up.”
The Southern Shores work between Tides Drive and Fifth Avenue is not expected to begin until near the end of May and be completely finished by June 15, according to a Feb. 10 update on the town’s beach nourishment information page.
Because the Town of Duck was unable to secure an easement for the large equipment and pipes to enter the beach near their project’s location, that gear will have to come across the dune at the Hillcrest access in Southern Shores and then move approximately three miles north.
Despite the delays, there were no financial penalties issued against Weeks Marine, and no additional financial costs incurred by the towns.
This is not the first time Weeks Marine has run into issues completing a beach nourishment project along the Outer Banks.
The same company ran into numerous mechanical and weather delays while widening the beaches from The Haulover to the old Coast Guard base in Buxton between 2017 and 2018.
Ogburn also said that sand fence installation is nearly complete in Southern Shores, and to date over 140,000 beach grass sprigs have been planted thanks to volunteers with the Southern Shores Civic Association, Better Beaches OBX and the town’s Public Works Department.