Jacksonville, Fla. – Duval County beach residents and visitors will see work start on local beaches this weekend that will improve the coastal area’s resiliency and reduce risk to infrastructure.
The Duval County Shore Protection Project will place sand on seven miles of eroded beaches, including Jacksonville, Neptune and a portion of Atlantic Beach. The beach renourishment project will widen the beach berm between 20 to 60 feet, and raise the elevation of the beach by about 3 to 5 feet.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ contractor, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLD&D) Company, says the Dredge Terrapin Island, barges and tug boats, have arrived offshore. Dredging and sand placement operations will start this weekend and run 24 hours daily. Project completion is set for November 2016, barring unforeseen events.
The beach will remain open to the public outside of the work areas. The public can expect temporary beach closures of at least 1,200 feet 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.
Beach fill construction will start at the south end of Jacksonville Beach. Initial sand placement will start around 37th Avenue South, progressing southward to the County Line, and then northward from 37th Avenue. The contractor will establish four or five subline/pipeline “landings” on the shore in Jacksonville Beach, one in Neptune and two landings in Atlantic Beach. GLD&D will pump sand through the pipeline toward the south, and then toward the north, from each landing site.
The Corps asks the public to use caution around the construction areas and to be patient with the temporary construction as the project progresses. Residents living close to the beach and near the active construction will likely hear heavy equipment and backup alarms, which are required by law.
For a weekly updated project progress map, go to http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Shore-Protection/Duval-County/ or http://olsen-associates.com/duval/. Updates are posted on Fridays.
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 new 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.