What a difference a month makes. At a St. Patrick’s Day meeting—March 17, the Dare County Commissioners voted to accept a $38.6 million bid for beach nourishment in the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills. The bid is approximately $4.9 million under the proposed budget.

A little more than a month ago, bids submitted to the County had been significantly higher than the budget would allow. Most observers felt the high bids were a result of a very heavy workload dredging companies had in 2016. With the low bid that has been approved it appears that observation was accurate.

Originally planned for the spring of this year, the one month delay in the bidding process will push the start date back to April of 2017.

All three towns have areas that have been identified as needing nourishment to stabilize the beach and protect property. Kitty Hawk seems most vulnerable with a narrowing beach and damage to the Beach Road during storm events.

The winning contractor, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, also handled the Nags Head nourishment project in 2011. The nourishment project is moving forward under an intralocal agreement with the towns paying 40% of the cost and the county 60%.