Work will begin this week on a mooring field in the Beaufort River, and city of Beaufort officials expect it will be operational by the end of the month.
Crews from American Underwater Contractors are expected to start installing the field's first anchors, which will be placed just west of the Beaufort Downtown Marina, according to a city news release.
The field will become part of marina operations.
Plans for the field created controversy after the city demanded that boats anchored or moored in the future mooring field relocate. City manager Scott Dadson said recently that all boats that had been anchored where the moorings will go have now moved.
Eventually, the field is expected to include 46 mooring buoys in rows of 16, 16 and 14.
Phase one of the field will be installation of 16 mooring anchors and buoys for transient boaters in the outermost row. Another 14 moorings will be for long-term boats, with seven in each of the other rows.
Anchorings will be sunk for the final 16 moorings, with buoys to be added later.
The first 16 transient moorings are being paid for with a $100,000 federal Boat Infrastructure Grant, $31,715 in city funds and $33,408 from marina operator Griffin Enterprises.
Griffin Enterprises is paying an additional $43,800 for the long-term moorings. The city is paying $20,700 to sink the remaining 16 anchorings. Griffin will pay the city back for that cost over time.
"This is an exciting project that helps reconnect the city and our Waterfront Park with the people who use the Intracoastal Waterway and our local boaters," Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said in the release.
- Beaufort officials consider increasing initial phase of mooring field, Feb. 18, 2014: http://bit.ly/1s4FJHr
- Mooring field plans up for Beaufort council work session discussion, Feb. 17, 2014: http://bit.ly/1gmisHM
- Monday is deadline to move boats from future Beaufort River mooring field, Feb. 8, 2014: http://bit.ly/1mIZkvM
- Boat owner balks at notice to move vessel from Beaufort River bluff, Jan. 20, 2014: http://bit.ly/1iXGtJF