OCRACOKE – The North Carolina Department of Transportation awarded a $1.9 million contract this week to Carolina Bridge of Orangeburg, South Carolina, for an emergency project to build a 1,000-foot bulkhead on the north end of Ocracoke Island to slow erosion.
Work is to begin the week of July 10 and be complete by Dec. 20. NCDOT is to purchase around $2.1 million of materials for the project, making the total cost $4 million.
NCDOT said in a release that the project is to protect the Ocracoke South Dock ferry basin and vehicle stacking lanes from encroaching shoreline erosion.
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality announced June 21 the approval of the emergency permit to build the bulkhead.
The emergency major permit under the Coastal Area Management Act authorizes construction of the bulkhead “to protect against severe shoreline erosion that is a growing threat to the ferry terminal basin and stacking lanes,” as Coastal Review Online reported last week. “The ferry terminal at this location is a vital transportation link between Ocracoke and Hatteras islands, and a crucial part of hurricane evacuation routes.”
The bulkhead is the first of two projects to address shoreline erosion at the site. There is a project in the planning and permitting stages for the constructing a groin system adjacent to the bulkhead, NCDOT officials said. The National Park Service is accepting public comments on that portion of the project.