News Stories


Published March 9, 2011

  After decades of wear and tear, the Wilmington District has beefed up the shore end of Masonboro Inlet’s south jetty so that it can continue to withstand the onslaught of Mother Nature.  This major thoroughfare to the Atlantic Ocean from Wrightsville Beach is vital for commercial fishermen, recreational boaters and the U.S. Coast Guard.  Originally built in 1980 and adjacent to Masonboro Island, the south jetty became exposed because the southern tip of Wrightsville Beach kept encroaching into the inlet and moved the main channel closer to the structure.  Eventually the sand around the jetty began to drift away and threatened the integrity of the structure. 

    “The solution was to go in and place some additional stones to make sure it remained intact,” said Wilmington District coastal engineer Bill Dennis.  “We looked at the trend to see if we had put enough stone to buffer the jetty so that in the future the structure would remain stable.  By our estimates there’s enough support from the stones to the jetty for the next 30 to 40 years.” 

   According to project engineer William Talley, contractors placed 850 tons of an under layer of smaller rocks, and 2,500 tons of larger rocks to fortify the jetty.   The environmental impact to the project was minimal, Talley said, because the contractor placed protective mats on vegetation next to the jetty when it transported the stones by heavy equipment vehicles to the shore end from barges.