Key Recovery Act projects on the Cape Fear River move forward

Published Feb. 4, 2010
Wilmington, North Carolina –Two American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) projects to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District at Lock and Dam No. 1 on the Cape Fear River will improve dam safety and improve conditions for endangered fish species.  

“We are delighted to move forward with these projects,” said Col. Jefferson M. Ryscavage, Wilmington District commander. “This is a great example of much-needed work made possible because of ARRA funding. Dam safety and environmental enhancement are both key parts of our mission – as is the economic benefit of the jobs supported by the construction.”

   The construction projects will: 

·  Fulfill a long-standing environmental mitigation requirement from the Wilmington Harbor Deepening project. 
·  Offer employment opportunity in Bladen County, N.C., where unemployment had reached 12 percent by September 2009. 
·  Offer opportunities to local quarries to supply materials in a state that has more than 10 percent unemployment.  
·  Improve dam safety on a structure that is the major water source for southeastern North Carolina.

The first project will repair a large scour hole that has been worn away in the river bed in front of the dam. The turbulence of water as it flows over the dam and hits the river bottom has worn a hole in the river channel. At its deepest, the scour hole is about 40 feet below the surface of the water, 28 feet deeper than the river channel bottom at about 12 feet. The hole encroaches on the toe of the dam and could threaten the structural integrity of the dam. The ARRA project will fill the hole with rock.  

The Wilmington District has awarded a contract in the amount of $3,143,545 to PRECON Marine Inc., of Chesapeake Va., for the scour hole repair. Environmental windows for fish migration require work in the river to begin no earlier than July.

 A rock ramp to allow fish passage over the dam has been added to the District’s Recovery Act project funding. The $12 million ARRA-funded project will allow endangered shortnose sturgeon and other federally listed species to swim upstream for spawning. This is required environmental mitigation, as part of the Wilmington Harbor Deepening project. Planning has begun and a contract will be awarded later this year, with work expected to be complete by 2012.

Release no. 18-059