Jacksonville, Fla. – Work on the Duval County Shore Protection Project will continue through Dec. 3 and then reinitiate again in May 2017, said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials. The goal remains to restore the protection features.
The Duval County shore project is nourishing seven miles of eroded beach and additionally rebuilding dunes devastated by Hurricane Matthew’s passing in October. The City of Jacksonville and the Corps’ Jacksonville District expedited beach clean-up, land and sea surveys, contracts, and construction work along the shoreline since the storm.
The additional dune-work, funded by the City of Jacksonville, started in early November and will continue on all beaches, including Jacksonville, Neptune and a portion of Atlantic Beach.
Project Manager Jason Harrah said everyone hoped to continue work through the winter until it was completed; however, the contractor’s dredge schedule was fully booked with other contractual requirements.
The dredge will remobilize in the spring with the goal of completing work prior to the 2017 hurricane season. Harrah says design work is ongoing now to address areas eroded by Matthew in the southern portion of the project, which was completed prior to the storm but too far south to include in the November-December work progression. (See map.) Crews will also complete the berm and dunes in the north.
“With the remobilization plan, we can repair the erosion while pumping the dunes at the same time. This will eliminate the need to logistically plan large truck haul operations down the beach, which would require shutting down larger sections of the beach throughout the project,” Harrah said.
The goal of engineered shore projects is to reduce risk and promote coastal resilience. The Duval County project performed as intended during Hurricane Matthew’s passing, which caused a peak surge of nearly ten feet at Fernandina Beach. Assessments showed that the project performed as designed and significantly reduced landside damages while sustaining a moderate and predictable level of erosion damage.
Shore projects help to reduce the damages – economic, environmental, infrastructure, human health and safety – of tropical storms and hurricanes. Thousands of residents and businesses in Duval County benefit from this project because storm events erode the beach rather than destroying coastal infrastructure. Coastal communities with engineered beaches have historically fared much better than other communities as proven by numerous studies.
The Duval County project was initially constructed in 1978-80 and since then, five principal renourishments occurred (1985-87, 1991, 1995, 2005, and 2011) in addition to periodic placement of sand dredged from navigation projects. Beach renourishment occurs about every five to six years here to maintain the beaches.
For more information about the Duval County Shore Protection Project, go to http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Shore-Protection/Duval-County/ or http://olsen-associates.com/duval/.
Release no. 16-093