Frustration grows as OBX beach replenish projects get delayed

Home owners along the shore feel another major storm could wipe them out

WAVY/Lex Gray

DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – A project to nourish the eroded beaches of Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Duck will likely start several months later than expected, in order to stay within the budget.

Town officials rejected bids that came in earlier this month, because even the lowest of the three came in about $5 million more than the $43.5 million budgeted for the beach nourishment project.

Gail Wall bought a house on the water in Duck back in 2009. Since Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, the shoreline has changed dramatically.

“We’re in a very precarious situation,” Wall said. “If we were to have a large storm of that kind again, our section of Duck will be gone. In other words, we will no longer be the first row of houses on the beach.”

That’s why Wall contacted 10 On Your Side after she found out about the rejected bids.

“They must take a bid that’s over budget,” Wall said. “We’re having a major erosion loss today as we speak, and we are basically just holding on.”

What Wall wants simply isn’t possible, according to Christopher Layton, Duck’s town manager. Even if the towns could come up with more money, contractors are too busy to get the job done by the original deadline of April 2017.

“There are a lot of projects going on, it’s not like you can go out to Home Depot and rent a dredge,” Layton said. ” We’re not going to spend more money than is budgeted, to speed up a timeline that the dredgers have said they can’t meet.”

Layton expects extending the deadline to December 2017 should bring the bids down.

“The project is going to happen,” Layton said. “It’s going to happen a few months later than some people expect, but do we expect there to be houses lost in that time frame? No.”

Town officials expect to give an update on the project, including a projected start month and timeline, after contractors resubmit bids the second week of March.

For more information about the project, visit the Town of Duck’s website.

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