AIWW Maintenance - "Tangent B"
The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) was authorized by the United States Congress in 1919 and is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Federal law provides for the waterway to be maintained at a minimum depth of -12 foot relative to mean low water for most of its length, but Federal funding shortages have prevented this depth from being routinely achieved along the entire reach of the AIWW, including segments in North Carolina. Consequently, the Corps prioritizes which reaches of the AIWW are maintained by giving those areas of high commercial traffic and shoaling intensity precedence. Also, the Corps dredging fleet does not have the capability to maintain the AIWW, and therefore most maintenance work is completed through contracts with the dredging industry. Most of the dredge work includes the use of pipeline dredges that pump the shoal material to upland or beach disposal sites.
In 2008, several “hot spot” reaches of the AIWW from Morehead City south to Cape Fear, N.C. will be maintained under a contract awarded to CottrellContracting Corporation, including an area of the AIWW located north of Pine Knoll Shores, Carteret County, N.C. – referred to as “AIWW Section 1 – Tangent B”. A maximum of 168,000 cubic yards of shoal material (equivalent to ~11,200 dump trucks) will be dredged from the reach and placed along approximately 2,000 linear foot of oceanfront beach at the very eastern tip of Pine Knoll Shores, near its boundary with neighboring municipality, Atlantic Beach (see graphic below). This reach was last maintained in the early 1990s. The total cost associated with maintaining “Tangent B” is roughly $1.7 million and sediment properties of the shoal material meet the State’s regulations for beach nourishment that was enacted in February 2007. Maintenance work started on January 20, 2008 and be completed several weeks later.