Corps awards Duval County shore protection contract
Jacksonville, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District awarded a Duval County Shore Protection construction contract June 28 to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, LLC of Oak Brook, Illinois, for $13,572,170.
The construction will place 650,000 cubic yards of sand on about seven miles of eroded beaches, including Jacksonville, Neptune and a portion of Atlantic Beach. The project’s completion is set for fall 2016.
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 maintenance-dredged sand. Beach renourishment occurs about every five to six years to maintain beaches as part of the project. This renourishment is funded in partnership with the City of Jacksonville, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and Duval County; funded 38.4 percent locally and 61.6 percent federally.
This year’s renourishment will widen the beach berm by between 20 and 60 feet in width, and raise the elevation of the intertidal beach by about 3 to 5 feet. The amount of increased beach width and height will vary along the shoreline. The contractor will excavate sand from four offshore borrow areas located in federal waters.
In 2013, Florida beaches had an annual recreational value of about $50 billion – and the majority of these beaches were engineered and renourished. Erosion is the number one concern beach tourists have about beaches. In areas where eroded beaches were restored, tourist visits and revenues increased.
For more information about Corps coastal resiliency projects in Florida, visit www.saj.usace.army.mil.