JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Maintenance dredging of Ponce de Leon Inlet is scheduled to begin April 11 and provides an interim solution to sand deposited in the inlet by Hurricane Matthew. Dredging keeps the channel open for safe navigation for as long as possible through summer 2017.
The dredging will remove approximately 130,000 cubic yards of material in the vicinity of the U.S. Coast Guard Buoy R8B in the Ponce de Leon Inlet. The sand will be placed in the nearshore, off New Smyrna Beach, south of the inlet. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Dredge CURRITUCK will complete the work by May 15.
The Corps intends to combine a more robust dredging of the Ponce de Leon Inlet with dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW), in the vicinity of the Ponce de Leon Inlet later this year – with plans to issue a solicitation in September for bids from small businesses to dredge in the winter and spring 2018. The sand from the consolidated project will be placed in the nearshore of New Smyrna Beach via the covered Sapphire Road cross-island pipe.
Consolidating these dredging projects is anticipated to result in a cost savings of $1 million to $1.5 million. Placement of the dredged material in the nearshore of New Smyrna Beach brings dredging and coastal protection together through regional sediment management (RSM). The mission of RSM is to use sand or sediment that is necessary to be dredged from navigation channels and places it on or near shorelines to renourish beaches and provide coastal protection.
The Corps of Engineers maintains coastal and inland commercial navigation channels with priority given to those projects that provide the greatest economic and environmental return to the nation. These channels operate together with other federal and non-federal assets to from an intermodal transportation network.
Release no. 17-014