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Coast Guard looks at options to fix buckling Wilmington bulkhead

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington has long been designated as a Coast Guard City, but the Coast Guard says some major work needs to be done along the section of the riverfront the Cutter Diligence calls home.

“The seawall where the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence moors up is no longer stable,” CPO Nyx Cargemi, a Coast Guard spokesman, said during a phone interview.

Portions of the historic downtown Riverwalk have left civil engineers with a sinking feeling after parts of the bulkhead have buckled exposing major flaws to the structure’s stability.

“Temporarily what we’re doing is kind of restricting access to the area, because without knowing the exact circumstance, we’re taking safety precautions and not allowing any events or public to that part of the area,” CPO Cargemi said. “We’re constantly put in positions where we’re asked to put ourselves in very unsafe situations. We certainly don’t want that same situation to be when our coast guard cutter and our crews return to home port.”

Cargemi says engineers are currently looking at long-term fixes along the entire bulkhead, including patching holes. However, don’t expect much to change visually along the historic downtown Riverwalk.

“Right now there are no plans to move the home port of the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence,” Cargemi said. “We are working with the city to determine midterm possibilities of what we can do. We certainly don’t like to revisit our engineering projects, because they require a great deal of time, planning, coordination and finance. The solutions that we’re looking to develop are going to be permanent solutions.”

We tried to contact the city to find out what options engineers have drawn up. So far no one has been able to answer that question for us.

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