The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District and Flagler County finalized a project partnership agreement July 23 at the Flagler County Commission Chambers for construction of the Flagler County Coastal Storm Risk Management Project in Flagler Beach, Fla. – a project expected to reduce annual storm damage costs, protect the areas major hurricane evacuation route, and provide critical habitat for threatened and endangered species.
The Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) is the next step towards construction of the project. It is a legally binding agreement between the government and non-federal sponsor that serves to define responsibilities, cost-sharing and execution of work for the 50 year project.
The initial nourishment portion of the project includes improvements to the existing beach and dune, along with the addition of approximately 500,000 cubic yards of sand to 2.6 miles of shoreline in Flagler Beach, Fla. The agreement calls for four renourishments during the 50-year life of the project, adding an additional 320,000 cubic yards of sand approximately once every 11 years. Material for the project will come from a borrow area located about 10 miles offshore in federal waters.
The project is designed to reduce annual storm damage costs by 95% over the 50-year period and produce more than $1.1 million in annual benefits. The project also provides more than 3.15 acres of habitat for Leatherback, Green, and Loggerhead turtles, as well as Piping Plover shorebirds. Wildlife habitat without the project could be severely jeopardized.
“We have seen the value of these shore protection projects over and over,” said Col. Andrew Kelly, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. “You only have to look a few miles to the North, where Duval County beaches lost over 1.3 million cubic yards of sand in less than 12 months to hurricanes Matthew and Irma. Because of a similar agreement signed decades ago, we were able to repair the beaches so quickly and professionally that Duval County was named one of the four best restored beaches in the nation for 2019.”
The cost-share for the $17,494,000 projected initial construction costs is approximately 65 percent federal and 35 percent non-federal. Periodic nourishments costs of $81,304,000 will be cost-shared at 50% federal and 50% non-federal.
Award of the construction contract is currently scheduled for Spring 2020, with construction starting shortly thereafter and lasting about 6 months.