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Siesta Key Monday, Feb. 15, 2016 5 years ago

Barges will begin staging off Bird Key this week

Vessels and equipment will arrive at the staging area later this week to begin the Turtle Beach renourishment.
by: Jack Short Staff Writer

Until mid-April, barges and heavy equipment will be part of the waterfront view for some Siesta and Lido residents.  

Weeks Marine, the contractor who will perform the renourishment of Turtle Beach for Sarasota County, asked the U.S. Coast Guard to issue a notice to mariners that it would begin staging for the project this week.

Dredging equipment and barges will anchor just southwest of Bird Key and transport equipment offshore of Siesta Key.

During the project, two dredging vessels will transport sand from three sites approximately seven miles offshore of Turtle Beach, and bring that sand to a discharge site to be pumped the remaining 1.5 miles to the beach through a pipeline. That operation will begin approximately March 1 and continue around the clock until dredging is complete, which estimated to be April 15.

Sarasota County Coastal Projects Manager Laird Wreford said during an earlier interview that a restricted area approximately the size of a football field will move down the shoreline as the project proceeds, and that most areas should be inconvenienced for no more than a day.

The operation will renourish approximately two miles of shoreline surrounding Turtle Beach at the south end of Siesta Key.

The project will cost approximately $20 million, paid for by state grants, tourist development taxes and a special assessment on property owners within the project area, according to Wreford. The additional sand will widen the beach by approximately 60 feet.

Sarasota County renourished Turtle Beach for the first time in 2007 with 1 million cubic yards of sand. During the course of the current project, 700,000 and 800,000 cubic yards of sand will be added to the shore.

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