INTERIM OPERATION PLAN (2017) - Project Updates

 Beach Nourishment Progress Map (5/15/17 Update)

Preliminary Figures
Placement Start Date
March 24, 2017
Placement Completion Date
May 15, 2017
Total Contract Amount
Dredged Material Quantity (excavated from channel)
621,000 cubic yards
Measured Quantity on the Beach (total in place)
TBD cubic yards
Linear Feet of Beachfill
9,000 feet

- Project Completed (5/15/17).   Great Lakes finished dredging/pumping late, late Monday (5/15/17) and the dredge Illinois departed the Harbor yesterday.  The full demobilization process will take a few days - the beaches are essentially clear of pipe and equipment already.  Final dredge volumes, reach lengths, etc. will be posted in the near future as the final survey data become available.

- The second nourishment reach extending from Oceanna Fishing Pier westward to the Circle in Atlantic Beach was completed over this past weekend.  The pipes in this area have essentially been removed and/or are staged neatly on the beach.  Pumping activities are now located back in "Reach 1" - east of the Oceanna; or more specifically, near Willis Avenue at its intersection with Club Colony Drive (Station 64+00 - see 5/15/17 progress map).  The project (dredging/pumping wise) could very well be completed by Wednesday.     

 PHOTOS - 5/11/17
Willis Ave.
Circle Looking Back East at End of Nourishment

5/11/17 - Great Lakes has been working steadily this week and has advanced to "Station 114+00", or a few hundred feet west of Beaufort Ave. (roughly a block away from the Circle) - see 5/11/17 progress map.  To that effect, please be mindful of the delineated safety areas at the Circle this weekend if visiting the beach in this area.  Again, the project could be completed by the end of the weekend - all equipment has to be demobilized off the beach by May 24th.  

 PHOTOS - 5/11/17 from Station 114+00 (Beaufort Ave.)
Survey Boat
Looking East

5/8/17 - Morehead City Harbor maintenance dredging with concurrent beach nourishment in Atlantic Beach resumed earlier today (5/8/17).  As mentioned in the most previous update (5/4/17), weather has hampered progress over the course of the past week or so (see 5/8/17 progress map).  With roughly 1,600 linear feet of nourishment remaining, the project could be completed by the end of the week.   The pictures below are from the discharge site at 16:00 (4 pm).  

 PHOTOS - 5/8/17 from Station 109+00 (Greenville Ave.)

5/4/2017 – Sea conditions have impeded progress thus far this week.  After working over the past weekend; winds and sea conditions picked up in the beginning of the work week (Monday and Tuesday namely) and the Illinois was relocated in to the Harbor for protection.  The Illinois was towed back out to the channel yesterday (Wednesday) morning to commence dredging/nourishment yet because of increasing winds/seas currently and as anticipated over the next day; the dredge was just towed back into the Harbor this morning.  Progress is generally the same as depicted as reported on 5/1/17.  

5/1/17 – The dredge Illinois got back to work on late Friday afternoon (4/28/17) and although the progress point hasn't changed since the last update (Station 109+00 - Greenville Ave.); the beach is much, much wider in this area.  The permit extension (see 4/5/17 update below) was granted to May 15th.  There is approximately 1,600 linear feet remaining in the nourishment template inclusive of the taper (see 5/1/17 progress map).   Pictures below from the discharge site.  

 PHOTOS - 5/1/17 from Station 109+00 (Greenville Ave.)

– Mechanical issues associated with the dredge Illinois has impeded progress the past several days.  Generally speaking, the beach nourishment slurry discharge point is located at the same location as mid-last week near Station 109+00. (see 4/24/17 progress map).   Pictures below from the discharge site.  

 PHOTOS - 4/24/17 from Station 109+00 (Greenville Ave.)
Stationing Identification at Greenville Ave. Looking West
Y Valve
Deflector Plate 1
Deflector Plate 2

4/19/17 – Dredging and nourishment continues during this spell of good weather and fair seas.  The beach nourishment slurry discharge point is located near Station 108+00 = Greenville Ave. (see 4/19/17 progress map).   Approximately 1,700 linear feet remaining. 

– As of this morning, the beach nourishment slurry discharge point was located near Station 97+00, or in between Money Island Drive and Wilson Ave. (see 4/17/17 progress map).   Pictures below  from the discharge site.  

 PHOTOS (4/17/17)
Station 97+00 Discharge
 Station 97+00 Discharge looking west
Station 97+00 Discharge looking east
Station 97+00 Discharge looking east#2

- Channel maintenance dredging continues with concurrent beach nourishment, the latter of which has just made the jump westward of the Oceanna Fishing Pier (see 4/13/17 progress map).   Pictures below and please use the sand ramps over the dredge pipe when visiting Ft. Macon and Atlantic Beach this Easter weekend.  

 PHOTOS (4/13/17)
Oceanna Looking East
 Oceanna Looking East #2
Oceanna Looking West
Oceanna Looking West #2
 Oceanna Looking North
 Oceanna Looking North #2
 Station 91+00
 Station 91+00 #2

- Dredging/pumping operations resumed yesterday after last week's storm and as of this morning, discharge was located at Station 71+00 (see 4/10/17 update) and approaching the Oceanna Fishing Pier.  To this effect below are pictures from the beach and the Pier. 

 PHOTOS (4/10/17)
Oceanna Labeled
 Oceanna 1
Oceanna 2
Station 71+00 Labeled

- Dredging/pumping operations have been suspended for the past couple of days (weather) and will remain so as this next storm approaches.  Beach nourishment has reached Station 65+00, meaning approximately 4,000 linear feet has been completed to date (see 4/5/17 update).  Great Lakes is using this down time to break down and re-establish the pipeline run down the beach (i.e., fix leaks, create better fits, etc.).  ALSO, the U.S. Corps of Engineers received an additional $2 million for the Project as part of the FY 2017 budget process/supplemental Matthew funding.   It is estimated this will yield an additional 167,000 cubic yards of excavated material that will be placed along a 3,500 linear feet stretch west of the Oceanna as depicted in the updated map.   This may result in Great Lakes working past the April 30th environmental window, but the scope of work should be mostly constrained to the demobilization process at this point (i.e., they should be nearly completed with actual dredging/pumping by April 30th).  

- Great Lakes has made some nice progress their first week of dredging the Harbor (~2,800 linear feet of beach nourishment – see March 31, 2017 Update Map).   We will try to provide a cubic yardage estimate for our next update.  Great Lakes is being paid for the excavated volume from the channel – not the volume surveyed on the beach.   This LINK is a survey of the dredging area at Beaufort Inlet (be mindful of the north heading when viewing the document – shoaling hotspot is near Buoy “16A”).

 PHOTOS (3/31/17)
Y-Valve & Gate
Discharge & Flushing
 Sand Quality
 Station 53+00 looking East
Station 53+00 looking West 

- Great Lakes Dredge & Dock initiated dredging of the Morehead City Harbor with concurrent beach nourishment along Atlantic Beach on Friday (3/24/17), and have progressed to Station "33+00" (see update map).  Below are a few pictures including the water-based booster pump and the dredge Illinois. 

 PHOTOS (3/26/17)
 Dredge & Booster
 The Illinois
 Pipe heading to AB
 Beach Shot
 Discharge Point

for Interim Operation Plan

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock will be utilizing their cutterhead-suction pipeline dredge, the Illinois for the 2017 Interim Operation Plan effort.  A cutterhead-suction dredge utilizes a crane situated on a barge that positions the cutterhead, which looks like a gigantic drill bit, along the seafloor.  The cutterhead agitates the sandy bottom, and the resulting slurry of sediment and water is subsequently suctioned into a long tube transitioning into a pipeline that can be extended to a specific target area (beach, upland disposal site, etc.).  Pipeline dredges are usually not self-powered, but are towed to the dredging site and secured in place by special anchor pilings, called spuds.  Additionally, a water-based booster pump (GLDD #4) will be utilized for the Interim Operation Project to provide additional power to pump dredged sand for a maximum distance of approximately 4.25 miles extending from the channel westward close to the Circle.     

Project engineers use “stations” positioned along the beach to monitor construction progress and to verify in-place volumes of sand placed on the beach by dredging contractors. The progress map above provides a detailed view of the project reach to be completed in winter/spring 2017 with the location/identification of the station numbers.  The shaded areas in red represent the completed portions of the project and will be updated on a weekly basis throughout the construction.


The station numbers included in the progress map conveniently correspond to thousands of linear feet along the beach. For instance, the distance between station “25+00" and “85+00” on the graphic above is 6,000 feet. If you visit the beaches of Ft. Macon and Atlantic beach this winter, you may see wood or metal stakes at the base of the dunes that will identify these station numbers by 100 feet intervals as “33+00", “34+00”, etc.

The total estimated volume of shoal material to be excavated/dredged from the Morehead City Harbor is 667,000 cubic yards (cy) = 500,000 cy + 167,000 cy supplemental - mostly from the area known as the "Cutoff".  As a mental image, a loaded dump truck can hold roughly 12 cy (wet) or possibly 15 cy (dry) of sand.  The contract price is $9,435,825 ($7,435,825 +$2,000,000 supplemental) and the average fill density is expected to be close to  70 cy/ft = 667,000 cy/9,500 linear feet.  The environmental window for the effort closes on April 30, 2017, and the contractor is required to complete the project by this date.