Beach Replenishment North Top Sail Beach North Carolina

Beach Replenishment North Top Sail Beach North Carolina

Sand Discharge from an Ellicott® Dredge Photo courtesy The Daily News/John Althouse

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH — Endangered homes on the north end of North Topsail Beach received some relief this week.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has disposed of around 100,000 yds3 (76,500 m3) of sand on that portion of the beach, creating a wider and longer strand, officials say.

“There is a huge difference,” said North Topsail Beach town manager Brad Smith. “Any sand that they’re putting out, a good portion of it is migrating north of the pipe, so it’s been a benefit to both north and south of the pipe.” Town officials deliberated earlier this year about where the Corps of Engineers should place the sand from the routine maintenance of the New River Inlet crossing. That issue caused the New River Inlet to slide to the bottom of the dredging list. “A lot of people wanted the pipe way further north, but they couldn’t do that,” Smith said. “But they began pumping and the currents have moved the sand north and it seems to be helping anyway.”

The sand has added 150 feet of width and 1,000 feet of length to the beach, said project manager Bob Keistler, of the Corps of Engineers in Wilmington.

“They’re going to have dredged just over an estimated 100,000 cubic yards of material and placed it on the beach,” he said. “As of (Wednesday) it was stacking very well still, and the town is happy.” Very little sand, if any, was lost to Tropical Storm Ernesto, though the town is keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Florence, Smith said. “But this isn’t a beach nourishment project, this is just a way to dispose of the sand,” Smith said. “It hasn’t made a huge impact, but has made an impact all the same.”

The Corps of Engineers is able to dredge up to 14 feet deep in the inlet where it meets the Intracoastal Waterway. The project should allow boats to navigate the inlet more easily, as shoals in the waterway made it difficult, Keistler said.

Officials hope Southwind Construction Co. can complete the work by Sunday. The dredging project is the last of four inlets covered in the contract, including Lockwoods Folly Inlet, Shallotte River Inlet and Bogue Inlet.

Southwind is using its Ellicott® cutter dredge “Jenni Lea II”, a Series 970 “Dragon” dredge for this project.

Source: Courtesy The DAILY NEWS Jacksonville, NC • Chrissy Vick, Staff Writer • John Althouse, Photographer