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Carolina Beach Test Project To Rebuild Rock Wall; Better Idea Of Cost

The Town of Carolina Beach recently conducted a test project to perform maintenance on the rock revetment wall on Carolina Beach Avenue North along the beachfront. The Army Corp of Engineers is requiring the Town to maintain the wall that was installed decades ago to protect the area from erosion.

Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Town of Carolina Beach was notified late last year they are responsible for maintaining the rock revetment wall on the beachfront along the northern section Carolina Beach Avenue North.
A test project was conducted recently to get a better idea of how much it will cost to return to the wall to a certain height and width based on criteria required by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.
In November 2012, Layton Bedsole, Shore Protection Coordinator for New Hanover County, explained he met with state officials and, "The structure is 30 or 40 years old. The fact that, by fault of no one, it has not been maintained on a regular basis... There's some low spots so to speak. Our goal was to get [permission] to do some refurbishment to regain some of the functionality under a maintenance authorization in lieu of a permit" from the State Division of Coastal Management.
Bedsole said, "What we came up with is what I thought was a good compromise. We won't be able to put it back to designed parameters, but the agencies are willing to allow us... with surveys to determine high points and low points... the distance between those high points and then a fill elevation in those low points to regain some of that functionality."
Bedsole said, "There's a caveat. The caveat is, the structure that we are discussing could never be permitted in North Carolina today because it's a hardened structure" and the state banned such structures along the beach some years ago.
Bedsole said the Town needed to survey the wall, calculate how much rock they will need to put in the low points of the wall and the cost.
On Tuesday April 30th, Town Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said a recent quote from one company was around $1 million dollars with $600,000 of that figure covering new material to place on the existing wall.
He said that figure seemed high and so the Town obtained a permit from the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management to conduct three days of work to get a better idea of the scope of work that will be involved.
Shuttleworth said for $7,500 the contractor, Four Seasons Earthworks, was able to recapture rocks that had shifted or fallen during storms and were covered by the sand. By placing those rocks back upon the revetment, Shuttleworth said the test project was a success.
He said, "I'm sure they'll come back with a bid that will be much less than the first one."
He said hopefully Council can discuss the issue at their May 14th, meeting and get a project in place in time for the beach nourishment project expected to begin shortly.
The Carolina Beach portion of the nourishment project has been delayed and an extension was granted by the State to operate past the April deadline for the sea turtle nesting season.
There will be a 30-inch pipe running along the beach from the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier south to an area just past downtown Carolina Beach.
As the crew for Weeks Marine work around the clock on the beach, they will move through areas as fast as possible. Those areas will be blocked off with tape. Work was expected to begin around April 21st and be finished by May 21st. The dredge for the Carolina Beach project has not yet been moved from a nearby project at Bald Head Island to the Carolina Beach Inlet to begin pumping sand. The delay was due to mechanical issues and weather conditions.
The rock wall was originally installed to control erosion within the area and provide a barrier from strong storms and wave action.