Southern Shores to hear views on widening 3 miles of beach

By on March 15, 2019

Sand was pumped onto 1,500 feet of beach on the town’s south end.

An engineering study is recommending that Southern Shores expand beach nourishment efforts to encompass 3 miles of shoreline and the town wants to know what property owners think about the idea.

The study estimates that the project would cost up to $13.5 million if it is done at the same time as re-nourishment planned for three neighboring towns 2022.

Using the same equipment, offshore borrow areas and contractor would save the towns millions of dollars and allow Southern Shores to receive some backing from the Dare County Beach Nourishment Fund, which is made up of a portion of the occupancy tax paid by visiting renters.

Southern Shores’ work would start about 500 feet north of the Southern Shores Civic Association’s 3rd Avenue beach access and run south to the Kitty Hawk Town Line.

A public hearing will be held at the Town Council meeting Tuesday April 2 at 5:30 p.m.

The Vulnerability Assessment and Beach Management Plan by Aptim Coastal Planning and Engineering of North Carolina looked at scenarios based on a storm similar to 2003’s Hurricane Isabel, which was so powerful it carved a new inlet through southern Hatteras Island.

Also taken into account were long-time erosion rates, the impact of storms, tide cycles and past, present and future sea-level rise.

The most expensive option looked at what it would take to protect the shoreline if a storm similar to Isabel hit at the estimated sea-levels in 2048. The other two applied the data to 2018 levels.

Aptim summarized the three options:

  • 665,650 cubic yards, $11,593,000
  • 492,300 cubic yards, $9,010,400
  • 803,050 cubic yards, $13,557,000

In 2017, 1,500 feet of severely eroded beach north of the Kitty Hawk line was included with projects in Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills.

If the Town Council decides to move forward with the 2022 project, funding would come from increased tax rates on properties on the oceanfronts, on properties town-wide or a combination of both, the statement said.

Find the full study here »

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