One down, three to go: Duck beach nourishment is done

By on June 30, 2017

Above, the beach after nourishment. Below, before. (Video and photo By Julien Devisse, Coastal Planning & Engineering)

The first leg of an 8-mile beach widening project was completed Wednesday evening when Great Lakes Dredge and Dock wrapped up work on a section of the Town of Duck’s shoreline.

Pumping is already under way in Kill Devil Hills, which was started earlier than planned because two of the company’s dredges were able to stay in the area longer than expected.


Three dredges are now pulling sand from offshore borrow areas 5 to 10 miles from shore, then shuttling it to terminals where it is offloaded into pipes running under water to the beach.

The company’s largest dredge in the area, the Liberty, was moved to Kill Devil Hills while the smaller Dodge and Pare Island finished up the job in Duck.

By Friday, the pipes along the beach starting at Helga Street in Kill Devil Hills were pumping sand into a section of Kitty Hawk. Work is expected to move north 1,000 to 2,000 feet into Kitty Hawk, but the rest of the town’s beach probably won’t be done until August.

It will take about 40 days to widen 2.6 miles of beach in Kill Devil Hills. The exact start dates for Southern Shores and Kitty Hawk projects totaling 4 miles have yet to be announced. Work in Duck started May 22.

The contractor and the towns have said there was never a set order for which beaches would be worked on first when the $38.5 million contract was awarded by Dare County last year, to allow scheduling flexibility to maximize cost savings.



  • OBX'er for Life

    Awesome Job GLDD and Duck! Looks amazing! Can’t wait to visit.

    Friday, Jun 30 @ 4:13 pm
  • Local worker

    I have to admit, it looks pretty darn good. Let’s hope it hangs around for a while.

    Saturday, Jul 1 @ 8:11 am
  • Chris K

    It’s pretty amazing…and from all the reading I’ve done leading up to this (I’m a chemist, so I’m a total nerd and read all the scientific pros and cons), they did this right and the results are incredible…we are blessed that my parents purchased a house near the northern boarder of the nourishment 25 years ago, and have spent significant time on the beach with our family…the first time we walked out to the water’s edge and looked back was a real ‘WOW’ moment…Great job, GLD&D and thank you!

    Saturday, Jul 1 @ 5:27 pm
  • Sound Sea Villager

    Sorry, but you’ve taken away the uniqueness of our beach. The sand bars are gone that created the wonderful surfing waves. The long walk up and down a steep pile of sand is difficult for the elderly and those with children and all the toys that need to be brought to the beach. We just hope that it’s true that half of this sand will disappear.

    Saturday, Jul 1 @ 7:53 pm
  • Heather

    I hold Kill Devil is done by the time we get there mid august

    Saturday, Jul 1 @ 8:17 pm
  • Sean

    Thats the way I remember it looking way to go guys keep up the good work. Don’t let it bother the tourists because that is what made this place it is some of the world’s best beaches. Period if you don’t like the beach nourishment then don’t come I promise someone will take your place.

    Sunday, Jul 2 @ 6:06 pm

    @Sound Sea Villager – Do you fight every change – have you gotten a flat screen yet?
    The beaches are as beautiful as they always have been- and the steep piles of sand have nothing to do with beach nourishment – they happen from every storm since day one.

    Monday, Jul 3 @ 12:05 pm
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