The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District’s present beach restoration project in Miami Beach has its roots in the previous millennium.
More than half a century ago, officials in Dade County, Florida, concluded that natural erosion and storm damage to the Miami Beach coastline was a serious threat to the health of its beaches, and with it the viability and security of the extensive residential development and tourist economy which sustain way of life of the nation’s best known vacation destination.
After several years of investigation, planning and coordination, USACE completed a plan for a beach resilience and storm damage mitigation project, and in 1968 Congress authorized the Corps of Engineers to construct the Dade County Beach Erosion Control and Hurricane Protection Project.
Today’s beach operations are the latest iteration in a series of periodic renourishment projects that fulfill that authorization. The congressional mandate called for the placement of beach fill along 9.3 miles of shoreline extending from Baker’s Haulover Inlet in the north to Government Cut in the south, and along a 1.4 mile length of Haulover Beach Park immediately north of Baker’s Haulover Inlet. A 2.4 mile stretch of shoreline at Sunny Isles was added to the original project in 1985 under a separate authorization.
The present renourishment project is being conducted along four critically eroded sections of the shoreline through a $40.4 million contract that was awarded July 30, 2021. The federal government is funding the entire cost of the renourishment.
USACE has completed sand placement at the Allison Park (64th Street) and Indian Beach Park (46th Street) segments of the beach and is nearly finished re-nourishing the Mid-Beach Park (55th Street) segment. The final 27th Street segment is scheduled to begin sand placement in the April timeframe.
By its projected completion in summer 2023, the Corps will have placed approximately 835,000 cubic yards of beach quality sand along some 11,400 linear feet of the Miami Beach shoreline. The beach restoration will help reduce potential economic, environmental and infrastructure damage that may be caused by future tropical storms and hurricanes.