$3 billion in construction slated for Camp Lejeune

Published: Oct. 16, 2019 at 8:59 PM EDT
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Three billion dollars worth of Hurricane Florence recovery projects are expected to take place at Camp Lejeune, meaning thousands of construction workers are expected to create a temporary population boom.

Jacksonville and Onslow County leaders are bracing for the impacts of this work.

The next step in restoring Camp Lejeune is hiring construction companies to complete the work. Thousands of contracted workers are expected to come in the next 3 to 5 years and all those people will need places to live.

During a forum Wednesday, local leaders discussed housing options, saying they will be working closely with major apartment complexes, local hotels, and of course, companies building single family homes in the area. Leaders say this needs to be balanced carefully, however, because overbuilding can lead to future problems.

City Manager Richard Woodruff says, "One challenge that we want to make sure is that we don't overbuild to accommodate. We need to make sure that while we're able to accommodate this need, that once this need is passed, that we don't have something negative that creates large vacancy rates in apartment complexes, hotels, or in fact, results in over building of single family homes."

The North Carolina Military Business Center expects contracts to be approved between June and September of 2020, and they say the influx of workers will benefit the local economy with more people spending their money locally.

The start of construction is essentially at the mercy of getting contractors in place, but officials said they expect work itself to begin by the end of 2020.

Officials said it will likely take 5 to 7 years for Camp Lejeune to fully recover from Hurricane Florence.