Some sand could be placed on the north end of Longboat Key sooner than anticipated.
Town Manager Dave Bullock made it clear in August the town of Longboat Key was interested in sand for the Key’s shore that the West Coast Inland Navigation District (WCIND) plans on dredging out of the Intracoastal Waterway near Jewfish Key.
The project, which was anticipated to start in summer 2015 when the town builds two groins to hold sand on the north end, has received a draft permit earlier than anticipated and the project could begin this summer.
Public Works Director Juan Florensa said the permit has been approved by the state and could receive a federal permit in a couple of weeks. Approximately 50,000 to 75,000 cubic yards of sand could be placed on the north end up to the Broadway beach access to act as a stopgap fix until sand-saving structures can be built the following summer.
“We are in dire need of the sand and we told WCIND we will take the sand once it becomes available,” Florensa said.
In a March 7 email to the Longboat Key Town Commission, Town Manager Dave Bullock explained 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’s swept off the north end of the Key and deposited in a large sandbar near Jewfish Key that’s a popular spot for boaters to anchor on the weekends.
WCIND has been working on a permit for the sand traps because that same sand also makes its way into the Intracoastal Waterway, clogging up the boating channel and forcing the district to perform expensive dredging projects.
Bullock will add a discussion item to the commission’s March 17 regular workshop to discuss the project and any costs associated with it for the town.
“This effort would address a worsening condition at this particular location and provide some storm protection for the area until the groin project is complete,” Bullock wrote in his email to commissioners.
For more information, pick up a copy of this week's Longboat Observer.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].