Anna Maria-Wide Beach Renourishment Under Way in Florida

Mon July 13, 2020 - Southeast Edition
CEG


A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Marinex Construction of Charleston, S.C., is restocking a 5.5-mi. stretch of beach in northern Holmes Beach to the southern end of Coquina Beach at Longboat Pass.
A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Marinex Construction of Charleston, S.C., is restocking a 5.5-mi. stretch of beach in northern Holmes Beach to the southern end of Coquina Beach at Longboat Pass.
A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Marinex Construction of Charleston, S.C., is restocking a 5.5-mi. stretch of beach in northern Holmes Beach to the southern end of Coquina Beach at Longboat Pass. Crews began mobilizing equipment in June, so that construction could start at 78th Street North in Holmes Beach and continue south to Coquina Beach. The project schedule calls for restocking about 300 ft. of beach per day. Baring weather delays, the project should be complete by the end of October.

Sometimes the beach needs a boost.

The first of two phases of beach renourishment, approved by the Manatee County (FL) board of commissioners in October 2019, got under way July 2 to restore sand lost through erosion.

A contractor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is restocking a 5.5-mi. stretch of beach in northern Holmes Beach to the southern end of Coquina Beach at Longboat Pass.

Marinex Construction of Charleston, S.C. has the contract for the enterprise.

The beaches are on Anna Maria Island, a barrier island west of Bradenton and bordered on the west by the Gulf of Mexico, with Tampa Bay to the northeast.

Crews began mobilizing equipment in June, so that construction could start at 78th Street North in Holmes Beach and continue south to Coquina Beach. The project schedule calls for restocking about 300 ft. of beach per day. Baring weather delays, the project should be complete by the end of October.

The awarded project cost is $17.3 million, with a federal cost share of $8 million. The state of Florida is contributing $4.6 million and Manatee County kicked in $4.6 million in tourism tax revenues to round out the cost.

The first phase of work, the Central Beach Project, began in Holmes Beach and will run south to about Fifth Street South in Bradenton Beach. Phase Two, the Coquina Beach Project, will begin at Fifth Street South in Bradenton Beach and continue south to Longboat Pass.

The sand will be delivered by barge from an offshore borrow area about 2,000 ft. offshore of the north end of Anna Maria Island, near Passage Key. The sand is dredged from the offshore borrow areas by a hydraulic cutter suction dredge, then pumped through a pipeline to the beach as a water/sand slurry. The submerged pipeline comes ashore onto the beach at a designated landing location, and connects to the shore pipeline, which runs laterally along the dry beach. The sand slurry is discharged from the pipeline before bulldozers work the sand to fill the designed construction template.

Construction equipment will be moved down the beach around the clock, with heavy activity in front of each property expected to continue no longer than a few days. Severe weather, mechanical issues or environmental protections could cause delays, according to the county website.

"This beach nourishment management program is very much like a roadway or other such infrastructure, as in once it is built, it must be maintained," said Charlie Hunsicker, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources director.

"The work you see is maintenance that will help ensure continued presence of a sandy beach and storm protection for the upland, as well as provide important nesting habitat for endangered sea turtles and shorebirds."

Portions of the beach will be closed during active construction, preventing the public from accessing that area of the shore. The progress will be updated throughout construction and a list of frequently asked questions are available at mymanatee.org/beachproject.

Crews began mobilizing equipment in June, so that construction could start at 78th Street North in Holmes Beach and continue south to Coquina Beach. The project schedule calls for restocking about 300 ft. of beach per day. Baring weather delays, the project should be complete by the end of October.