Residents on the north end of the island who thought they were getting their beach back for Christmas will have to wait a few more weeks.
The town’s beach contractor, Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co. LLC, however, is placing beach project equipment on the sand this week in preparation for the project.
Town Manager Bruce St. Denis informed the Town Commission last week at its Jan. 3 regular meeting that the dredge’s sail to Longboat Key has been delayed.
The project, originally set to begin in late December, will now not begin until the end of January at the earliest.
The dredge, which is sitting in a shipyard in Quincy, Mass., is waiting for necessary certifications that will allow the boat to set sail for Florida.
“The town has received assurances that the contractor is doing everything that can be done to prepare the dredge so the project can move forward,” St. Denis told the commission.
A best-case scenario has the dredge arriving in Longboat Key by Jan. 27.
Public Works Director Juan Florensa told the Longboat Observer that residents would begin seeing bulldozers and equipment being placed on the beach near the North Shore Road beach access beginning Monday.
“The bulldozers will be removing an old, derelict seawall that’s crumbling near Longbeach as part of the project,” Florensa said.
Long pipes used to bring sand to shore from the dredge will follow.
The state presented the town with a 10-year beach restoration permit Sept. 13, which allows the town to restore sand any time it needs to for 10 years without having to ask for permission from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
The permit allows the town to rebuild the entire beach profile, or a 200-foot wide beach that has been swept away from Broadway to north of North Shore Road.
The town has put aside $4.5 million in its upcoming 2010-11 fiscal year budget for the project, which is expected to take at least one month to complete.
The project involves renourishing a 4,015-foot beach segment by using a previously town-permitted fine white sand site located approximately two miles off of the northern end of Anna Maria Island.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Longbeach and 360 North condominium residents can expect the beach contractor to begin mobilizing on the beach for the north-end sand project as soon as this week.
“Residents will also notice a long metal pipe that will be laid out on the beach before it’s placed into the Gulf and attached to a barge, or Hopper dredge, that will sit a half-mile offshore,” said Public Works
Director Juan Florensa. “Big bulldozers will also be running day and night to smooth out the sand that’s brought ashore by the pipe.”
DREDGING PROJECT TIMELINE
Jan. 1 through Jan. 15 Transport of pipe and booster pump to Longboat Key
Jan. 10 through Jan. 14 Arrival of equipment for removal of derelict seawall at Longbeach Village
Jan. 10 through Jan. 21 Derelict seawall removal
Jan. 15 through Jan. 27 Installation of pipe and booster station
Jan. 27 Arrival of dredge
Jan. 28 Start of beach/dredging project
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected]