Monday starts five months of beach dredging

The United States Army Corps of Engineers announced this week that Historic City News readers at St Augustine Beach, and near the three borrow sources at the St Augustine inlet, will be impacted by beach renourishment beginning February 6th, and continuing through June or early July 2012.

Porpoise Point at Vilano Beach will be dredged first to avoid the start of the shorebird-nesting season. The navigation channel will be dredged next, followed by portions of the southern side of the ebb shoal as necessary to obtain the amount of sand needed. The dredge pipeline will come ashore within the Anastasia State Park and south of the County pier.

Construction activity will occur 24 hours a day and seven days a week throughout the construction project. The active construction zone will begin at the northern boundary of the project limits and move south. For safety reasons, public access to areas within the construction perimeter will be strictly prohibited. This area will be clearly marked using orange fencing.

The primary areas where public access point closures are anticipated:

Pope Road access, from A1A Beach Boulevard to the Beach, as well as the parking lot and Pope Road Scenic Overlook, will be closed to the public beginning Monday, February 6, and will not be reopened until the entire construction project is finished.

Portions of the beach driving area, from the Vilano Beach inlet jetty to the northern limit of vehicle access to Porpoise Point at Genoa Road, will be closed to public access from approximately February 16, 2012 to mid-April 2012. Vehicle and pedestrian gates at Vilano Road and Genoa Road will remain open with restricted areas clearly marked.

Intermittent closure of the 3rd Street beach access will occur throughout construction. The impacts of this closure will be infrequent and will primarily require closure of pedestrian access. Driving and driveway access will be maintained a majority of the time.

The St Augustine Beach renourishment project is planned as a 50-year project with renourishment cycles occurring every five to seven years in order to achieve optimum performance. This work constitutes the third renourishment cycle.

In general, the project involves clearing navigational channels and dredging sands captured around the inlet; then mechanically placing the sand on the beaches beginning at the southern limits of Anastasia State Park and extending south to Bermuda Run.

Renourishment efforts, intended to offset the impacts caused by the inlet to the adjacent beaches, will place approximately 2.1 million cubic yards of sand on 2.3 miles of St Augustine’s beaches.

The cost of the project, including planning, design and construction, is approximately $17 million. The Federal Government, through the Army Corps of Engineers, provided approximately 80.5 percent of this amount. St Johns County provided approximately 11 percent and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection provided approximately 8.5 percent.

Photo credits: © 2012 Historic City News staff photographer

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