Big dredge arrives off Duck to start nourishment project

By on May 23, 2017

The first sand flowed at Widgeon Drive. (Julien Devisse, Coastal Planning and Engineering) Below, the 315-foot Liberty Island. (Great Lakes)

After more than 5 years of planning, a massive project to widen the beach in four towns started overnight in Duck as a dredge the length of a football field went to work offshore.

Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, the contractor for the $38.5 million beach nourishment project in Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills, sent its dredge the Liberty Island first. The ship arrived off Duck Tuesday, according to

Before the end of the month, two more dredges, the Dodge and Padre, are scheduled to steam in. The three dredges working together should get the Duck job done faster — in 40 to 45 days.



The Liberty Island will work on the north end of the 1.6-mile project. The other two dredges will supply sand for the south end. Together, they will deliver 1.3 million cubic yards of sand planned for Duck.

Work began at Widgeon Drive. The Liberty Island will pull sand from offshore borrow areas, then steam to a terminal just off the beach to offload the sand, which will be sent as slurry through an underwater pipe called a subline.

Turnround time for the big dredge each time is about five hours.

Onshore, bulldozers will spread the sand around. Pipes running parallel to the ocean will be hooked up from the subline as the project moves up the beach. Later, two additional sublines in Duck will pick up loads from the dredges farther south.

Sections where work is taking place will be closed off for three to five days.

Great Lakes will work through the summer moving south as it rebuilds 8 miles of shoreline.




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