The town received good news late Monday afternoon about the severely eroded north end of the Key: The long-awaited federal beach permit for a sand and groins project arrived, which starts the process for a sand-saving structure project on the beach around North Shore Road.
Town Manager Dave Bullock informed the Longboat Key Town Commission in an email Monday that the town received the permit for erosion control structures from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“This is an important step in moving the project forward,” Bullock wrote.
The permit was supposed to arrive April 11, but came three days later.
The town can now put out a bid for a construction company to perform the work for a sand project and the installation of two groins on the north end.
The possibility still exists that a West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND) sand dredging project that will bring sand to the Key and the installation of two groins could occur at the same time this summer.
But Bullock said that possibility is slim at best.
Approximately 50,000 to 75,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged near Longboat Pass up to the Broadway beach access. The sand was originally meant to act as a stopgap fix until sand-saving structures can be built the following summer.
The groins will be installed in summer 2015 if they cannot be constructed this summer.
WCIND’s project calls for dredging the channel near Longboat Pass, while placing beach-compatible sand on the north end of Longboat Key. WCIND will dredge the channel northwest of Jewfish Key to prepare to install flood shoal sand traps in that area. The traps, once installed, will trap between 40,000 and 60,000 cubic yards of sand that is swept off the north end of the Key and deposited in a large sandbar near Jewfish Key.
WCIND has been working on a permit for the sand traps because that same sand also makes its way into the Intracoastal Waterway, clogging the boating channel and forcing the district to perform expensive dredging projects.
Bullock said the town will get 100% of the sand dredged for its shores, with Manatee County receiving 100% of the sand the next time the site is dredged. Future projects will receive a 50/50 split between the county and the town.
WCIND has also agreed to allocate $500,000 toward the project.
Bullock will give the commission an estimate at its April 21 regular workshop of how much the town will have to contribute toward the sand project. Bullock said he will also have more details about the groin project at the workshop now that the permit has been received.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].