USACE Jacksonville re-nourishment of Vilano Beach is under way
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, has begun on-the-beach operations for the re-nourishment of Vilano Beach, St. Johns Co.
Sand is being dredged offshore and pumped on to the beach, where it will be transported via a pipeline and then distributed by heavy equipment to re-construct segments of the federal project template.
Sand placement will proceed from north to south and will be continuously in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week to expedite operations during hurricane season and throughout the duration of the re-nourishment. The project is scheduled for completion in March 2024.
Please note that parking in Surfside Park, at the southern end of the work area, will be constrained as it will serve as a staging area and remain an active work zone for the duration of the re-nourishment. Public access to the beach via the park will remain open as will use of its restroom facilities. The public is urged to exercise caution while accessing the beach area through the park as heavy equipment will be actively exiting and entering to traverse the active construction sections along the beach.
As sand placement progresses, the contractor will close off active placement areas of the beach measuring approximately 1,500 feet in length with orange safety fencing. Please refrain from entering these active work zones and exercise caution in their vicinity. As beach fill is completed, the safety fencing will be removed and those sections will be reopened for public use.
USACE Jacksonville will publish weekly progress maps on this site and on its social media channels to advise residents and visitors where construction is actively under way – see the links in the righthand column of this page.
USACE Jacksonville awards Vilano Beach emergency re-nourishment contract
USACE Jacksonville is pleased to announce the award of a $20.2 million contract to Weeks Marine Inc. of Covington, La., for emergency re-nourishment of the St. Johns County Coastal Storm Risk Management Project – Vilano Beach. The contract was awarded June 30, 2023.
The project will renourish approximately 3 miles of shoreline along portions of south Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beaches in northern St. Johns County between FDEP Range Monuments R-102.5 and R-117.5. The emergency re-nourishment will restore sand loss due to the November 2021 nor’easter and Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022.
The project includes construction of both a dune and beach berm. Planting of dune vegetation will take place as constructed segments are completed. Sand placed on the beach will be dredged from a borrow area that lies in federal waters approximately 7 nautical miles offshore.
The emergency re-nourishment will be 100 percent federally funded in accordance with the Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies, Public Law 84-99. Under this law, the Chief of Engineers, acting for the Secretary of the Army, is authorized to undertake activities including disaster preparedness, Advance Measures, emergency operations (Flood Response and Post Flood Response), rehabilitation of flood control works threatened or destroyed by flood, and protection or repair of federally authorized shore protective works threatened or damaged by coastal storms.
Weeks Marine is expected to begin mobilizing equipment to the beach in mid-August using the designated staging areas at Surfside Park and along Euclid Avenue. Actual sand placement is expected to start a few weeks later in September 2023. Construction is expected to be continuous, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with construction completion projected March 2024 barring unforeseeable weather, mechanical or other issues.
USACE requests residents in the project area to finish all repairs to walkovers and seawalls in accordance with federal, state and local regulations before beach fill operations commence. This will facilitate planting vegetation in the restored areas to strengthen the dunes.
As the re-nourishment begins and progresses, USACE will post updated maps and scheduling information via social media sites, as will St. Johns County. See links in the righthand column.
St. Johns County CSRM Overview
The ocean shoreline of St. Johns County is approximately 42 miles long.
The initial construction of the Coastal Storm Risk Management Project, completed in 2021, included both dune and beach berm construction along some 2.6 miles of the coastline from South Ponte Vedra Beach to Vilano Beach. Approximately 1.3 million cubic yards of sand, dredged from shoals within St. Augustine Inlet, were placed on shore.
The next beach nourishment, which will address the 2022 impact of Tropical Storms Ian and Nicole, will be 100 percent funded by the federal government under a Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies authority. Jacksonville District plans to complete all permitting coordination with its partner agencies by March 1, 2023 and award a contract for the project by the end of June.
Beach placement of sand from the permitted offshore borrow area is expected to begin in September 2023 and be completed by the middle of March 2024.
Future periodic nourishment events are planned at multi-year intervals.