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New River Inlet Channel realignment project begins

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NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (NEWS RELEASE) -- The New River Inlet Channel Realignment Project has begun on the north end of North Topsail Beach. The project will widen and deepen the New River Inlet Channel, and the sand from the channel will be placed on the northern 1.7 miles of the beach. The shoreline will be extended an average initial width of 180 feet across the project area. The intent of the project design is to supply wave and current protection for the north end of Topsail Island. The sand placed will provide erosion mitigation and enhanced protection for oceanfront property. Construction activities will be conducted 24 hours per day for approximately 60 days.

"This project will provide the town with an enhanced recreational asset for our visiting vacationers who are so important to our local economy," Mayor Daniel Tuman said. "It also benefits the local day visitors to our beach town."

The new channel will provide safer and easier navigation for all commercial and recreational boaters. Should Onslow County and the state choose to dredge the New River to the same depths, larger vessels could now ingress and egress to the intracoastal waterway and locally to Sneads Ferry and Jacksonville, opening new economic opportunities for marinas and marine related services.

"This project is absolutely necessary for the economic well being of the Town of North Topsail Beach," Tuman said, "and the project is paid from tax dollars collected from North Topsail Beach property owners and the vacationers who rent local property."

The New River Inlet Channel Realignment project is the first phase of a five phase plan proposed by Coastal Planning and Engineering, a coastal engineering firm that has been working on a plan for the Town of North Topsail Beach since 2002. Marinex Construction is the contractor performing the work. Theirs was the lowest bid at $5.6 million, which is below the $6.5 million estimated cost for the project. The Town will be paying for the project by using a portion of the current beach fund balance (which is made up of accommodation tax revenues and one cent of the property tax) and special obligation bonds in the amount of $2,840,000 which will be paid over a term of 5 years at 1.74 percent interest with the accommodation tax and one cent property tax revenues.

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