News Stories

High winds delay dredging at Oregon Inlet

Published April 1, 2015

WILMINGTON, NC— The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) dredge MERRITT is on site at Oregon Inlet, but heavy winds have delayed the crew’s ability to begin dredging operations. 

   The Wilmington District’s crew will stay at the inlet, and will attempt to move through the navigation span to the east side of the bridge during high tide this evening.

   “If the crew is able to move through the navigation span at high tide, the plan is to drop anchor, and remain in place to begin dredging on Thursday morning,” said Donnie Potter, Chief Physical Support Branch, Wilmington District, USACE.

  The U.S. Coast Guard, Saturday, closed the Oregon Inlet waters near the Bonner Bridge to any vessels with a draft greater than two feet.  Ships with a draft more than two feet are not allowed within 100 yards of the Bonner Bridge until further notice, the Coast Guard said.

  The goal of the side cast dredge MERRITT will be to open the federal channel at the navigation span of the Bonner Bridge to a controlling depth of 8 feet so the hopper dredge CURRITUCK can work to open the channel to as great a depth as possible up to its authorized depth of 14 feet. 

    The most recent hydrographic survey conducted on March 27 showed the federal channel with a depth of six feet through the bridge fenders and less than 2 feet seaward of the span.