Longboat starts north end beach renourishment
Large trucks hauling earth-moving equipment and 30,000 tons of sand will begin appearing on Longboat Key streets this week as part of the town’s monthlong North End Interim Renourishment project.
The $1.1 million project, which will improve a 600-foot stretch of beach around North Shore Road, became necessary because of beach erosion caused by Hurricane Irma last fall. A July survey by Olsen Associates, a Jacksonville coastal engineering company, found Longboat lost 61,700 cubic yards of sand on four of eight gulf-facing portions of its beach from that storm.
High tides have eroded the beach to the point that the enscarpment – a steep embankment left in the sand dune by beach erosion – has eroded to the base of the southernmost groin.
The lost sand accounts for about 9% of the total put on Longboat two years ago. The town has been nourishing its beaches since 1993, when the town had more than 3.3 million cubic yards of sand placed along the island’s 9.3-mile shoreline.
During the ongoing project, public access to the beach from North Shore Road to Joy Street will be closed.
“Other accesses will be available,” said Isaac Brownman, the town’s Public Works director.
Project contractor, Earth Tech Enterprises of Naples, will be working 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday to ensure the project is completed in one month, or possibly less, Brownman said.