NCDOT plans to build steel and rock wall to protect South Ferry Dock at Hatteras Inlet

The South Ferry Dock at Hatteras Inlet. [Photo courtesy National Park Service]

The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to install protective measures next year on the north end of Ocracoke Island to stem rapid erosion by Hatteras Inlet at the South Ferry Dock.

The land where the ferry dock is located is surrounded by Cape Hatteras National Seashore, and the severe erosion is causing damage to both the ferry basin bulkhead and vehicle stacking lanes.

There are two projects that will be taking place, according to NCDOT spokesperson Tim Hass.

“The first one is a project to build a bulkhead along the northern edge of the ferry terminal to the stacking lanes to prevent further erosion into the stacking lanes and ferry basin,” Hass said.

“Bids were opened Wednesday, but we haven’t awarded anything yet,” said Hass. “We have already gotten the permits for that one. We expect to start that one sometime in July and take about a month to complete.”

Sketch of the first project at the South Ferry Terminal. [NCDOT image]

The second part, which will require approval from the National Park Service, is to add a groin system to that wall to protect it, according to Hass.

The public comment period on the groin project is now open through July 22 as part of an environmental assessment, as required by the Park Service.

The NCDOT proposes a 1000-foot long sheet pile wall, which was recently permitted as an emergency action, and to construct groins interspersed with submerged concrete structures to further protect the eroding shoreline around the ferry stacking lanes.

The use of both barge-mounted pile driving equipment and land-based equipment are proposed to take place in the spring of 2020.

Erosion from a March storm. [NCDOT image]

An Environmental Assessment will be prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Park Service said.

The EA will document the effects of the NCDOT proposed action to the resources within the project area in order to determine what action the National Park Service will authorize NCDOT to perform for shoreline protection.

Resource issues and topics may include coastal shoreline processes, human health and safety, wildlife habitat, submerged aquatic vegetation, water resources, and visitor experience.

The Seashore will take public comments online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/caha_shoreline_protection through July 22 on the proposed project. Comments can also be mailed to: Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954.

It is anticipated that the EA will be available for public review and comment in the fall of 2019.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.