Work underway to shore up natural gas main running alongside Wright Memorial Bridge

Divers work in the water to place bags of cement over the natural gas line running parallel to the Wright Memorial Bridge on Jan. 20, 2022. [Sam Walker photo]

So what’s been going on alongside the Wright Memorial Bridge?

Diving contractors working for Piedmont Natural Gas have started placing mesh sacks containing dry cement to help stabilize the natural gas main buried in the Currituck Sound bottom just south of the bridge between Point Harbor and Kitty Hawk.

The nearly 3-mile-long, 6-inch thick steel gas main was buried under the sandy bottom in 2004.

Some of the sand over the pipeline has since eroded due to wind-driven waves where the Currituck and Albemarle sounds meet at the tip of the Currituck County mainland.

The bags are being placed in a triangle pattern over about a half-mile of the pipeline, according to a Piedmont Natural Gas employee we spoke with Thursday. The sacks are made of a material, similar to burlap, that will disintegrate after the concrete hardens.

The contractors out of Texas have been working out of the old NCDOT bridge maintenance yard on Albtuck Road in Point Harbor, where pallets of the cement bags are stacked awaiting workboats to take them out into the water.

Boaters are advised to avoid the area to the southside of the eastbound span Wright Memorial Bridge where the work is taking place.