Wednesday, February 21, 2024

WB renourishment project to begin mid-December

After multiple delays, Wrightsville Beach’s renourishment is slated to begin Dec. 17 and wrap by spring 2024. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — After multiple delays, Wrightsville Beach’s renourishment is slated to begin Dec. 17, according to town officials.

READ MORE: It’s been 57 months since WB was renourished — and it is delayed again

ALSO: USACE awards $13.6 million beach renourishment contract in WB

The project will place 1 million cubic yards of sand from the south of the Blockade Runner on Seashore Street to the north of the Holiday Inn Resort Lumina at beach access number 8.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District awarded a $13.6 million contract to the Charleston, South Carolina, company Marinex Construction, Inc. for the renourishment. The project is 100% federally funded. 

Marinex will place dredge pipes from Masonboro Inlet off-shore and return on-shore near Seashore Street. The project will be constructed from south to north. Though a completion date has not yet been announced, it’s expected to wrap between March and April 2024.

Wrightsville Beach has been in need of sand since 2022, when its last renourishment cycle was scheduled. The dredge was postponed and moved locations twice, largely due to a reinterpretation of the federal Coastal Barrier Resource Act. That law bans federal money from being spent on projects that would pull sand out of the law’s protected zones. This includes nearby Masonboro and Mason inlets on both ends of Wrightsville Beach, despite Wrightsville Beach using Masonboro Inlet for decades.

In summer 2022, USACE decided to move the dredge site a few miles offshore to an area riddled with tires from a 1970s manmade reef. Masonboro Inlet was still the preferred method due to the complications associated with dodging tires during the dredge; plus, Masonboro has a shorter timeline, cheaper price tag and less risk for wildlife. 

USACE applied for an emergency exception to the law to pull from the inlet this cycle to repair the eroded shoreline. The federal government approved the request in August.


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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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