Belhaven Harbor Breakwaters
Belhaven Harbor, North Carolina, SAW
Construction and Rehabilitation History
Two creosoted timber breakwaters, each 1,950 ft long and located at
Creek (Figure 5), were constructed at a cost of
the mouth of
,187, As part of an existing project providing for a 12-ft mlw
channel, the breakwaters were an experiment to provide some relief
from beach erosion, high winds, and, generally, to make Belhaven a
safe harbor for vessels. The face of the breakwaters consisted of
4 - by 8-in. vertical timbers (pales) on 12-in. centers, extending
from -1.2 to
ft mlw. The pales were held in place by timber
wales, piles, and metal connectors.
A survey of the structural condition of the breakwater indicated it
was in poor condition and was not proving effective as a barrier to
incoming wave energy. All the metal connectors were severely cor-
roded, creating a navigation hazard when members broke away during
storms. Numerous timber members were missing or decayed and broken.
It was concluded that major repairs would be required to restore the
breakwater to a safe and operational condition, Because of the
shallowness of the structure (-1.2 ft
and the openings between
vertical pales (supplemented by visual examinations), it was con-
cluded that the structures had little or no effect in attenuating
Visual examination showed that approximately three dozen timbers
were missing over the length of the breakwaters. Also, a few
pilings were missing. It was thought that the damage resulted from
the impact of transient barges tied to the structure.
The structure does not provide its intended wave protection, but at
present there are no plans for improvement.