$6.7M project to fix bulkhead along riverfront damaged by Matthew


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A new deal was announced this morning for some major repairs in downtown Wilmington.

It’s a brand new $6.7 million deal to help erase the marks of Hurricane Matthew.

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“It’s the key ingredient to doing the revitalization that they want to do here downtown for the city,” Rep. David Rouzer (R-7th District) said. “Without the bulkhead, the rest of it doesn’t really work really well.”

Rep. Rouzer was joined by Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and other city officials to announce repairs to Wilmington bulkhead Tuesday.

The money secured was the amount the US Coast Guard asked for to make all the repairs. Even Mayor Saffo couldn’t believe the news when he first heard it.

“I’ve been going up to Washington for the last 12 years and it’s the first time I’ve walked into a congressman’s office when somebody says, ‘I’ve got $6.7 million for you,’ so I was very ecstatic,” Saffo said.

There’s no word yet on an expected start date.

Business owners like Wesley Keeton are happy repairs are on the way. After his business was partially flooded during the hurricane, he says he has no problem with more construction if it means big improvements.

“Having something that I know I don’t have to worry about the storms coming back through and doing the same damage that’s been done before, everything is fixed. I will do what I can to accept that construction to make that right,” Keeton said.

Once the plans are approved, work will begin.