After a late start and unexpected setbacks delayed Wrightsville Beach’s coastal storm damage reduction project, officials say the end is finally near: the E.W. Ellefsen cutterhead dredge will suck up the last grains of sand no later than June 2.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Bob Keistler said while the project could be completed May 30, he is more comfortable with a June 2 completion date.
“That’s all dependent on good weather. It’s all dependent on equipment not breaking down. … Tomorrow might be the end. It may take as long as Monday,” Keistler said in a May 29 phone interview.
Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens said in a May 29 phone interview that an update from contractor Weeks Marine estimated the dredging would be complete by the afternoon of May 30.
“If it’s not done by tomorrow, it is what it is. But we hope it’s done by tomorrow,” Owens said, adding the contractor seemed confident dredging would wrap up May 30.
Weather cooperating, it will take a week to demobilize and remove equipment from the beach.
The project was originally slated to finish by May 31 but after a number of issues delayed the project, a new environmental extension through June 13 was granted.