Survey shows substantial channel cut to deep water at inlet

By on May 9, 2014


The Currituck. (Voice file)

Impassable a few weeks ago, the Oregon Inlet channel at the navigation span of the Bonner Bridge is now 8 to 11 feet deep, according to a new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers survey.

Surveys had shown depths of 2 feet in some spots as heavy northeast winds during the winter undid a major dredging project in December. It was so shallow, dredges could not reach the shoals to clear them out.

Two weeks ago, the sidecast dredge Merritt was able to get into the area to cut a path for the larger hopper dredge Currituck to go to work.

The Currituck pulls sand into its hold and is taking it to an area of erosion around piling south of the navigation span.

Shifting winds have also helped move sand from the channel.


The survey taken Tuesday, May 5 shows a clear cut from the navigation span to the deepest area of the inlet. Negotiating the passage, however, still requires a sharp turn around the encroaching Bodie Island spit.

A pipeline dredge made a cut 600 feet wide and more than 14 feet deep at the bridge and tapering to 400 feet at the ocean bar in December. The job used $7.8 million in Hurricane Sandy relief money.

The Corps’ Wilmington District says keeping the federal channel dredged to the depth needed for commercial vessels would cost $4 million to $5 million a year. The Corps was allocated $1.3 million in fiscal year 2014 for Shallowbag Bay, which includes Oregon Inlet and other channels in the area.

President’s Obama’s latest budget proposal calls for $800,000 in 2015. That is about enough for surveying, the Corps said.

Recent posts in this category

Recent posts in this category
  • Virginia Dare Night Baby Auditions to be held at The Lost Colony

    The 82nd Anniversary Season of The Lost Colony commemorates the 432nd birthday of Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World to colonist Eleanor Dare on August 18th, 1587. The Lost Colony continues its long celebrated tradition of using real babies during the August 17th performance. Being a “Virginia Dare Baby” is a coveted role in the community that many local citizens have had the opportunity of being a part of. For […]

  • Manteo High student wins state Patriotic Art contest

    Alyse Stewart moves on to national finals Each year, more than 3,500 high school students from across the country participate in the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art contest. The contest began in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth.  Any student in grades 9-12 who is enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States is eligible to […]

  • Truck blaze near Oregon Inlet

    According to an eyewitness report, this truck caught fire about 6:30 a.m. Sunday July 14 at the South end of Oregon Inlet bridge. The two men inside were reported to be from Virginia and there were no injuries. The Chicamacomico Banks Volunteer Fire Department responded to extinguish the fire.

Comments are closed.