The project seeks to study the impact of different bulwarks to protect the shoreline at the north end of Topsail Island

North Topsail Beach leaders are moving forward with contract negotiations for its North New River Hardened Structure Project.

The move follows a unanimous vote to do so at a special meeting on Tuesday.

The project seeks to study the impact of different bulwarks to protect the shoreline at the north end of Topsail Island.

According to Carin Faulkner, North Topsail Beach’s assistant town manager, Alderman Joann McDermon moved that the town’s staff begin contract negotiations with “the next qualified contractor” for the project. The motion was seconded by Alderman Richard Peters.

The contract negotiations will be with Dial Cordy & Associates, Inc., an environmental consulting office, which will get engineering support from Applied Technology and Management, Inc., Faulkner said. The motion passed unanimously.

“The Town received three submissions; and in each of the submissions, the respondent had a supporting firm which was either going to provide environmental or engineering support for the firm that applied,” Faulkner said, explaining that design work can only be evaluated based on a company’s qualifications in North Carolina. “Cost cannot be a factor in selecting a firm.”

According to previous Daily News reports, the town has several options at the inlet. A terminal groin, for example, would involve the construction of one or more structures at the end of Topsail Island or on the side of New River Inlet, “with a main stem generally perpendicular to the beach shoreline.” A jetty, on the other hand, would construct a structure into the water and deflect the current. Both are intended to protect North Topsail Beach from further shoreline erosion.

Because the town is starting contract negotiations, there’s currently no specific contract amount, Faulkner said. Once there is a contract, “the Board will have to take action again to approve it and authorize it to be executed.”

Faulkner said she expects the contractor would begin work as soon as the contract is executed, which may be available by the Board of Aldermen’s next regular meeting on Feb. 1. A time schedule, she said, may also be a component of the contract.

For more information, visit NTBNC.org.