The hopper dredge Liberty Island is on schedule to arrive in Emerald Isle Feb. 20 to begin dredging, holding, sailing and pumping sand on the beach at Reach 1, the far west of the Carteret County beach town, as part of Phase III of the post-Florence Renourishment Project.
The Liberty Island will complete Reach 1 and then move west to east to reaches 3, 4 and 5, through central and east Emerald Isle, according to the most recent project update from Greg Rudolph with the Carteret County Shore Protection office.
It is anticipated that more than 2 million cubic yards of sand from the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site, or ODMDS, associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project, will be used to nourish 9.4 miles of beach in Emerald Isle for Phase III.
The larger-capacity dredge, the Ellis Island, could arrive as late as April 1 but officials are working to have the dredge arrive sooner. If both dredges are working at the same time, the project could be completed before the April 30 environmental window closes for sea turtle nesting season and other biological resources.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock set the first submerged pipeline, or subline, in Reach 1 on Jan. 19. Sand will be pumped through this subline once the hopper dredge Liberty Island arrives. Pipe will be added to this subline to pump sand west, then east from the subline landing point at the Point Emerald Villas/Lands End boundary. On Jan. 24, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock placed the second submerged pipeline just west of Bogue Inlet Pier in Reach 3.
Dates for the work to begin was pushed back a handful of times from the end of January, to Feb. 12 and now to Feb. 20. The Liberty Island and Ellis Island are working in Florida and Charleston, South Carolina, respectively and have been trying to complete their work at these jobs while also encountering COVID-related issues both at sea and on land, according to the county.