Infrastructure money coming for Dare waterways

Published 9:59 am Friday, February 18, 2022

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has published its fiscal year 2022 work plans for projects to be funded with money from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

U.S. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis staffers reported the work plans include “significant investments in Dare County.”

Specifically, the Corps’ operations and maintenance work plan for fiscal year 2022 infrastructure funds includes over $12 million for Dare County projects.

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States the email, these are existing Corps projects that usually get operations and maintenance “funding through the annual federal appropriations process. However, the Infrastructure funds are above and beyond the normal annually appropriated dollars.”

At the Dare County Waterways Commission meeting Feb. 14, 2022, additional information was added about type of dredge and location for the projects. Dare County Corps Work Plans include:

– Avon Harbor – $1,603,000 – Dredging and Surveys. Dredging will be by bucket and barge. A search is on for a disposal site. The sand at the harbor has already been tested.

– Manteo-Shallowbag Bay, Oregon Inlet – $6,400,000 – Dredging and Surveys.

The description of the Manteo-Shallowbag Bay project includes a channel from the Atlantic Ocean through Oregon Inlet and under the new Oregon Inlet Bridge. The project continues to interior channels to the Pamlico Sound, Wanchese Harbor, Shallowbag Bay Harbor and Albemarle Sound. In 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported that the length of all channels was 25.4 miles.

This funding will be used for pipeline dredging from Wanchese Harbor through Old House Channel.

– Rollinson Channel (Hatteras Inlet) – $1,430,000 – Dredging, Surveys and Turbidity Monitoring.

The Rollinson Channel runs from the Pamlico Sound into Hatteras village basin and then from Hatteras Island into Hatteras Inlet. A realignment proposal, making the current horseshoe route official, is working its way through the approval process.

The funding will be used once the realignment of the channel is complete. That realignment, which follows the current horseshoe route, includes the South Ferry Channel. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects the realignment in May.

– Stumpy Point Bay – $2,580,000 – Dredging, Surveys and Turbidity Monitoring. A pipeline dredge will be used.

“The numbers were a surprise to me,” said Steve Coulter, chairman of the Dare County Waterways Commission. “I’m extremely happy for the money.”

The schedule for using the money is tight. All permits must be in place by June 2022 and contracts must be awarded by Sept. 30, 2022.