$4.9 million repair planned
Beginning in late December, workers from Precon Marine — a marine construction contractor from Virginia — will be repairing the jetty on the north side of Masonboro Island. The project will cost $4.9 million. Bob Keistler, a project manager with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, said the funds for the repair will be drawn from supplemental federal funds established for projects damaged by Hurricane Irene.
Although the jetty did incur some damage from Hurricane Irene, Keistler said the repair project was also triggered by normal wear and tear since this is the first major repair on the jetty since it was built in the 1970s. Over time, the stones near the end of the jetty have rolled into the inlet. Keistler said the contractor would be stacking additional 14- to 22-ton granite stone in that area. The Corps of Engineers estimated that 24,000 tons of granite stone would be required to complete the repairs to both the end of the jetty and the elbow section along the first cove on the sound side of Masonboro Island.
The project was awarded to Precon Marine on July 31, 2012, and the crew will have until July 31, 2013, to complete the project. Precon Marine also completed the minor repairs to the same jetty in 2011. Currently, Keistler said Precon Marine is working with a granite quarry in Virginia to harvest the stones necessary for the repair, which will be transported to the jetty by barge.
The repairs to the jetty will be completed from a barge parked alongside the structure and a large crane. Keistler said the work would not hinder boat traffic through the inlet. There will be little equipment on Masonboro Island, but the path that runs along the jetty on Masonboro Island will be closed during the repair.