The north end of Longboat Key will be receiving a belated Christmas present this year — in the form of sand.
Public Works Director Juan Florensa told The Longboat Observer that residents will begin seeing bulldozers and equipment being placed on the beach near the North Shore Road beach access at the end of December, in preparation for a sand restoration project that will ramp up in January.
At a pre-construction meeting held Dec. 9, at Town Hall, Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting Co. LLC officials told those in attendance that the Hopper dredge used to bring sand to the beach will begin making its way to Longboat Key later this week.
The dredge will arrive in early January, and the project will begin that month, according to Cashman officials.
The state presented the town with a 10-year beach restoration permit Sept. 13, which allows a beach contractor to restore the lack of beach on the north end of the island.
That means the town has permission to restore sand in the area any time it needs to for 10 years without having to ask for permission from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).
Town staff had been working to receive a permit from FDEP all year that allows the town to rebuild the entire beach profile — 200 feet of beach that has been swept away from Broadway to north of North Shore Road.
The town has put aside $4.5 million in its 2010-11 fiscal year budget for the project, which is expected to take at least two months to complete.
The project involves renourishing a 4,015-foot beach segment by using fine white sand from a site located approximately two miles off the northern end of Anna Maria Island.
The dredge will be able to make 4.5 trips per day to the sand site, and it will take 60 days to put all of the sand on the beach.
The town awarded the beach contract Nov. 24 to Cashman, which was the lowest bidder.
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 toward the end of the month.
Bulldozers and other equipment will be placed on the beach.
“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.”
A Hopper dredge picks up sand on the bottom of the Gulf and sends it to shore via an underwater pipeline.
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