Duval County shore protection project restarts next week
Jacksonville, Fla. – Duval County beach residents and visitors will soon see more work on local beaches that will improve the coastal area’s resiliency and reduce risk to infrastructure. The project will reinitiate next week with the goal of restoring protection features prior to the start of hurricane season, June 1.
The Duval County shore project is nourishing eroded beach and rebuilding dunes devastated by Hurricane Matthew’s passing in October 2016. The City of Jacksonville and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jacksonville District expedited beach clean-up, land and sea surveys, contracts, and construction work along the shoreline.
The additional dune-work, funded by the City of Jacksonville, will continue on all beaches, including Jacksonville, Neptune and a portion of Atlantic Beach.
Project Manager Jason Harrah says the work will address areas eroded by Hurricane Matthew in the southern portion of the project, as far south as 17th Avenue South, which was completed prior to the storm but too far south to include in the November-December work progression. Crews will also complete the berm and dunes in the north.
The Corps of Engineers’ contractor, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLD&D) Company, started mobilizing their heavy equipment and pipes earlier this week. Beach construction will start at the south end of Atlantic Beach. Initial sand placement will start with the first pipeline “landing” around 7th Street in Atlantic Beach, progressing southward to tie in to the previous work between 1st and 2nd streets in Atlantic Beach. Work will then continue north from 7th St. up to the northern terminus between 17th and 18th streets. Upon completion of the work in Atlantic Beach the contractor will establish two subline/pipeline “landings” in the Jacksonville Beach area, in the vicinity of 10th Ave South and 2nd Ave North to construct the beach and dunes stretching from 17th Ave South to the previously completed work between 8th and 9th Ave North.
Tentative construction timeline:
Start April 8 – 2nd Street to 11th Street
Start April 15 – 11th Street to 18th Street
Start April 22 – 1st Avenue North to 9th Avenue North
Start April 29 – 7th Avenue South to 1st Avenue North
Start May 7 – 16th Avenue South to 7th Avenue South
Contractors will deliver truckloads of 40-foot shore pipes to the 16th Ave. South staging area. Sublines will extend about 3,000 feet offshore and will be set about 5,000 feet apart. Dredged sand will get pumped through the subline to pipes located on the beach. The construction staging area is located in a public parking area. The pedestrian walkway there will remain open, but the parking lot area will remain closed for equipment staging throughout the duration of construction.
The Dredge Terrapin Island, barges and tug boats, will soon arrive offshore and start work April 8. Dredging operations will run 24 hours daily. The beach will remain open outside the work areas. The contractor expects to temporarily close at least 1,200 feet of the beach at a time during the project. Public access over the dredging pipes will occur roughly every 300 to 400 feet. The work should proceed about 500 feet – or about two city blocks – along the shore each day.
Shorebird monitoring started in mid-March and turtle nest monitoring will start April 1. Wildlife experts, permitted through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, will relocate all sea turtle nests reported within the sand placement area to safe hatching areas.
The Corps asks the public to use caution around the construction areas and to be patient with the temporary construction noise as the project progresses. Residents living close to the beach and near the active construction will likely hear heavy equipment and backup alarms; this may last up to three days as the crews move along the shoreline.
The goal of engineered shore projects is to reduce risk and promote coastal resilience. 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 shore 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.
Along with providing economic stability and opportunities, beach nourishment projects also have inherent benefits in restoring critical habitat for shorebird and marine turtle nesting.
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 to maintain beaches as part of the project.
The Corps awarded the 2016 construction contract June 28 to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock for $13,572,170. The renourishment is funded in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Duval County; 38.4 percent locally and 61.6 percent federally funded.
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/.