EMERALD ISLE — Only one firm submitted a bid by the Tuesday deadline for a major beach nourishment project set for this winter, the Carteret County News-Times reported.
Because less than three bids were received, “the project will be advertised for an additional week until bids are opened,” according to the bid document released in October on Post-Florence Renourishment Project – Phase 1.
The county will re-advertise the bid with a second and final bid opening at 1 p.m. Dec. 4 in the conference room of the town administration building. A bid can be awarded after the final bid opening.
The only bid, which was from Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. of Illinois, was not opened Tuesday under state law.
The total project is estimated to cost $17,498,135 and is to include 945,500 cubic yards of sand, 178,100 square yards of dune planting and possibly sea turtle trawling and relocation.
Initially the nourishment project was planned for eastern Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Salter Path and Pine Knoll Shores, which was then excluded for cost before Hurricane Florence. Following the storm, project plans changed to include more sand for eastern Emerald Isle, Indian Beach and Salter Path to make up for sand lost because of Florence.
Revenue for the county’s beach nourishment fund comes from the county’s occupancy tax, which would fund most of the project. Emerald Isle, Indian Beach and the county’s general fund for unincorporated Salter Path each would pay a share based on the amount of sand received.
The county and the towns will try for sand replacement cost reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Former Emerald Isle town manager Frank Rush had said he planned to ask FEMA to reimburse the town $40 million for the cost of replacing 2.2 million cubic yards of sand lost during the storm. Rush’s last day was Nov. 21.
Figures from a post-Florence survey by Moffatt & Nichol, the county’s beach engineering firm, show that Indian Beach and Salter Path lost about 445,000 cubic yards and Pine Knoll Shores lost 576,000. Estimates for FEMA reimbursement requests for Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores and Salter Path and Indian Beach could reach $59 million or more, based on an estimated figure of $18.51 per cubic yard.
Atlantic Beach, which lost about 400,000 cubic yards, is not eligible for FEMA reimbursement because the town receives free sand from dredging projects at the state Port at Morehead City.
If no awardable bid is received, the county could wait for a decision from FEMA on reimbursement and attempt in the winter of 2019-20, a project that would cover the entire 3.2 million cubic yards of Florence loss spanning the 18 miles of beach from the western tip of Emerald Isle to the Atlantic Beach city limits.