Cherry Grove dredging project approved by North Myrtle Beach Cit - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Cherry Grove dredging project approved by North Myrtle Beach City Council

The Cherry Grove dredging project has been approved. (Source: WMBF News) The Cherry Grove dredging project has been approved. (Source: WMBF News)

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - North Myrtle Beach City Council passed the second and final reading of an ordinance Wednesday to finance the Cherry Grove dredging project.

North Myrtle Beach Councilman Fred Coyne and city spokesperson Pat Dowling said companies can bid for the project beginning July 8.

A contract will be awarded Aug. 1, according to the city's tentative timeline leading to the actual construction, which technically began within the last week.

Coyne said the city used general funds to go ahead and begin preparing the basin, near Tidewater in North Myrtle Beach, for the dredge. 

The muck from Cherry Grove will be drained to that basin. Other dredge project have drained water there as well, which drains over the course of about a year before eventually returning to a water source. 

Construction crews are digging out the old mud and making new walls to hold the Cherry Grove water and muck mix.

Coyne said the city tried to schedule dredge construction around the busy times of the year.  Construction dates as of now are Oct. 1 to March 2017. This is for the first dredge only. A maintenance dredge will have to be budgeted and scheduled a few years down the road.

The project, modeled after the successful Ocean Aisle dredge in North Carolina, has been decades in the making. Residents have to schedule their boating activities on the canals from 43rd Avenue North and up because the water levels become mud flats at low tide. The dredge will fix that.

Coyne and North Myrtle Beach Councilman Hank Thomas said the first dredge will significantly increase the value of homes in the area.

The first dredge is estimated to cost about $6 million.  However, the exact amount won't be known until a bidder is selected by Aug. 1. 

The exact amount will also determine the dredge cost to Cherry Grove residents along the canals.

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