If only the town and neighboring cities or counties could partner to save on beach renourishment-project costs.
It’s a comment that Longboat Key commissioners and other Gulf Coast community officials have made for years, but one that’s never panned out — until now.
Longboat Key will partner with Collier County to save on sand project dredge-mobilization costs for projects that start this summer, for the town, and this fall, in Collier County.
Public Works Director Juan Florensa has worked with Collier County officials for the past 18 months to sync the timing of the two projects.
“We are breaking ground here,” Florensa said in his office last week, surrounded by beach-renourishment charts and timelines.
State officials have urged all coastal communities to try to partner to save on costs for beach projects that cost millions to perform and at least $2 million alone to get a dredge offshore to start pumping sand onto the coastline.
This week, both the town and the county will find out just how beneficial that relationship is.
Florensa put out bids, due this week, which ask contractors to give a beach project cost estimate for the town’s project itself. The town is also asking for a bid that includes partnering with Collier County. The town wants contractors to see the benefit in partnering with two communities to produce cheaper bids.
Ideally, the town and the county could split the $2 million dredge mobilization cost and potentially save on their overall project costs.
The goal is for the dredge to mobilize this summer off the shores of Longboat Key to perform a hot-spot renourishment project.
“The dredge and the project would be done by Thanksgiving, and then the dredge would head south to ramp up for Collier County’s project,” Florensa said.
The beach project will place sand at the Broadway beach access to Gulfside Road, and from The Islander condominium to the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort (see sidebar for exact beach addresses that are receiving sand).
The town is also trying to obtain permits to place an additional 55,000 cubic yards of sand in two other places on the Key (see sidebar). Although the summer beach project permit allows for sand to be placed at the severely eroded North Shore Road beach access north to Beer Can Island, Florensa said the town will hold off on placing sand there until it can obtain permits to also place three groins in the area.
The sand(man) cometh
The following beachside addresses will be receiving sand this summer:
• From 6701 Gulf of Mexico Drive to 6401 Gulf of Mexico Drive
• From 2295 Gulf of Mexico Drive to 1701 Gulf of Mexico Drive
The following beachside addresses may receive sand this summer if the town obtains federal permits:
• 4401 Gulf of Mexico Drive to 3855 Gulf of Mexico Drive
• 3800 Gulf of Mexico Drive to 3155 Gulf of Mexico Drive