JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District stressed the importance of public safety around work areas for the ongoing St. Augustine Beach renourishment project. The public is urged to stay out of active construction zones, and particularly to not cut across from behind to access the surf.
“Public safety is one of our highest priorities and it is imperative people stay and remain out of work areas to avoid injury,” said Jason Harrah, project manager.
The beach remains open to residents and visitors outside the work areas. The contractor will temporarily close at least 1,200 feet of the beach at a time during the renourishment project. Public access over the dredging pipes occurs roughly over 200 to 300 feet. Swimmers and surfers are strongly encouraged to avoid the construction area to avoid injury.
SJCFR Marine Rescue encourages beachgoers to avoid swimming in areas directly impacted by the dredging project due to unpredictable and dangerous conditions. Uneven and soft bottom conditions increase the chance of rip currents and/or other submerged hazards that greatly increase risk for swimmers. Please adhere to posted warnings and avoid swimming in these impacted areas until dredging operations have concluded.
Dredging for the St. Augustine Beach renourishment project began December 2017 and is scheduled to conclude this month (weather pending). Work has been completed from Pope Road to the St. Augustine Beach pier. Sand placement from the pier to 15th to 9th Streets is underway. Pope Road is an equipment staging area and will remain closed for the duration of the project.
The contractor will place approximately 800,000 cubic yards of sand from the navigation channel and ebb shoal on the eroded beach. This project will be constructed from 1,300 feet north of the southern limits of Anastasia State Park to 9th Street in St. Augustine Beach.
The purpose of this project is to mitigate for down-drift shoreline impacts caused by the federal navigation channel at St. Augustine Inlet, and provide storm damage reduction for upland development. The goal of engineered shore projects is to reduce risk and promote coastal resilience.
The federal project, led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is in partnership with St. Johns County. The cost share is 80.5% federal and 19.5% non-federal.
Project updates and progress maps will be available at www.saj.usace.army.mil/StAugustineBeach and our social media pages – facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict and twitter.com/JaxStrong. An updated progress map will be provided routinely to keep the public up to date on impacted areas.