- March 2, 2016
The town of Longboat Key has temporarily closed its public beach access point at 6399 Gulfside Road.
Friday’s closure is expected to last until mid-April because of work on its beach renourishment project.
“It’s basically only open for residential foot traffic and the contractor is in the process of mobilizing their equipment,” said Longboat Key town projects manager Charlie Mopps.
The next closest public beach access points to 6399 Gulfside Road are about 1 mile north at 6847 Gulf of Mexico Drive and another at 100 Broadway Street.
“We’re doing our best to kind of mitigate impacts, but at the same time we have to allow, because of the benefits that ultimately this project is going to provide to the citizens, the work to actually go on,” Mopps said.
Mopps said he anticipates the town will close other beach access points in the coming months.
Multiple contractors have started work on different segments of the approximate 10.5 miles of Gulf Coast shoreline on Longboat Key.
The town plans to put about 825,000 cubic square yards of sand along the Longboat Key shoreline by the summer. A typical dump truck holds about 10-14 cubic yards. The work is expected to help stabilize the north end of the island to combat the severe erosion that threatens the Greer Island area.
The sand dredging currently working in Longboat Pass for Coquina Beach will soon move operations and begin placing sand along the Gulfside Road area.
By mid-April, a news release from coastal engineering contractor Olsen Associates, Inc. said a separate sand dredge operation will start sand placement along Longboat Club Road south of the St. Regis property.
At the same time, work has started to build five permeable rock groins along the shoreline at North Shore Road and Greer Island.
“[In the coming weeks,] that North Shore beach access point will probably be closed down, especially when they’re in the process of filling those cells with the beach material just due to the fact that there’s going to so much construction activity in and around that location that for safety sake, we do not want people going out there and hurting themselves,” Mopps said.
Longboat Key Public Works Director Isaac Brownman said only two of the town’s 12 public beach access points will be impacted by the beach renourishment work.
Mopps said it is the town’s goal to keep the beach access points open as long as it can throughout the renourishment project.
Brownman acknowledged there will be brief periods lasting a few hours when the contractors will need to close portions of the beach itself for sand dredging.
“There are going to be doing some minor fueling activities that are going to occur at some other beach access points, and typically they’re going to be doing that at o’dark thirty when they’re not impacting public activity,” Mopps said.
Mopps was complimentary of each of the contractors working with the town, which includes Weeks Marine, Cottrell Contracting and Kelly brothers. Olsen Associates, Inc. has put together a website to provide updates on the status of the project.