Wilmington Harbor Inner Ocean Bar Project 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District has contracted with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock to provide maintenance dredging of the Federal navigation channel reaches including Smith Island Channel, Baldhead Shoal Channel Reach 1, and Baldhead Shoal Channel Reach 2.  The dredging will be accomplished with a hydraulic cutter suction dredge.  Approximately 1,490,000 cubic yards of the dredged material will be placed on South Beach on Bald Head Island. 

CONTRACTOR: Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD)

DREDGE: Ohio – Cutter suction dredge



APPROXIMATE END DATE: April 1, 2021****

*Updated on 12/29/2020
**Updated on 1/25/2021
***Updated on 2/19/2021
**** Updated on 3/18/2021

MATERIAL AMOUNT: Approximately 1,490,000 cubic yards

Dredge Ohio (Photo from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock)

PLACEMENT: South Beach, Bald Head Island – East of 232 S. Bald Head Wynd to the end of the Shoals Club property. (See project plans HERE – not the final set – beach fill template may change based on more recent surveys and may be subject to available material and budget)

WHAT TO EXPECT: The beach will remain open except the areas of immediate construction where a 1,000-foot section of the beach will be closed at any given time when nourishment is underway. Due to the many variables associated with the construction progress, such as mechanical or weather impacts, it is extremely difficult to forecast when the contractor will have a particular section of the beach closed. There will be a large pipe that carries the sand slurry down the beach and heavy excavation equipment which will be working 24/7 until the project is completed. There will be noise from the large machinery 24/7, this will include the “back-up signals” from the machines and lighting which are required for the safety of the crew. Sand ramps will be spaced along the beach (approximately every 400 feet) to allow beachgoers to walk over the pipe and access the ocean.

INQUIRIES: Can go to public.information@villagebhi.org or (910) 457-9700 ext. 1025.


For the Army Corps of Engineers map click HERE.

The map below shows the approximate location for the starting point and ending points for sand disposal on South Beach, the beach accesses, the location of construction by date, and photos.

View in Google Maps


December 26, 2020 – GLDD plans to move a front-end loader,  several y-valves, spreaders, and other equipment onto the beach in the late morning/early afternoon.

December 29, 2020 – GLDD has moved the construction start date to January 11, 2021.

January 11, 2021 – GLDD has moved the construction start date to January 15, 2021.

January 15, 2021 – GLDD has moved the construction start date to January 19, 2021.

January 25, 2021 – GLDD started pumping sand on South Beach on January 22, 2021. Approximate location to-date is S. Bald Head Wynd and Salt Meadow Trail (according to USACE map).

January 29, 2021 – GLDD is working its way down South Beach. As of this morning, they are in front of the Villas.

February 3, 2021 – GLDD is making great progress. Crews have almost reached Beach Access #15 and are near Snowy Egret Trail and S. Bald Head Wynd.

February 4, 2021 – GLDD is making its way toward Beach Access #17 and closer to Black Skimmer Trail and S. Bald Head Wynd.

February 8, 2021 – GLDD is now just past Beach Access #17 headed toward Mourning Warbler Trail.

February 10, 2021 – GLDD is now between Beach Access #17 and #18 and is right across from Mourning Warbler Trail.

February 16, 2021 – GLDD is approaching Beach Access #20 today which is near the east end of Sandspur Trail.

February 23, 2021 – GLDD is just past Beach Access #21 today which is near the west (or north) end of Silversides Trail.

February 26, 2021 – GLDD is approaching Beach Access #24 A&B which is near the west side of Peppervine Trail.

March 2, 2021 – GLDD is reaching the east end of Peppervine Trail and approaching Beach Access #25A.

March 8, 2021 – GLDD just passed Beach Access 26B and is located near the west end of Brown PelicanTrail. 

March 10, 2021 – GLDD has made it to Scotch Bonnet Lane.

March 14, 2021 – GLDD is at Beach Access #31 heading east toward the shoreline side of Killegray Ridge.

March 18, 2021 – GLDD is now placing sand between Seaton Court and Dunedin Ct. 

March 26, 2021 – GLDD sand placement is now past Loggerhead Trail and is located near Beach Access #35.

March 30, 2021 – GLDD is approaching Beach Access #36 and Captain Charlies Point Road. 

April 6, 2021 – GLDD ceased dredging operations & sand placement this morning. Sand disposal reached the east side of the Shoals Club. The demobilization could take a couple of weeks, please be mindful of the equipment & pipe that remains on the beach.