Posted on January 3, 2024
The restoration project is expected to begin this year.
Jacksonville’s coastline is about to undergo a major makeover as The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a $32.4 million contract for a beach renourishment project covering most of Duval County’s Atlantic Ocean beachfront.
The Army Corps of Engineers announced the contract was awarded to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co., LLC of Houston, Texas. While the contract award came in late December, Duval County beaches communities have been requesting beach renourishment help from federal agencies since the coastline got hammered by back-to-back impacts in 2016 and 2017 from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, respectively.
The latter storm produced record flooding as Irma strafed the Jacksonville area, and coastal dunes were heavily damaged as the outer bands of the hurricane brushed the area on Sept. 10, 2017.
Army Corps officials said the beach restoration project will cover Atlantic Ocean shorelines from just south of the mouth of the St. Johns River in Mayport southward through Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Jacksonville Beach to the St. Johns County line. That covers a stretch of beaches that runs about 10 miles.
“The project will be 100 percent federally funded through Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies monies,” Army Corps officials said in a prepared news release.
“The beach re-nourishment includes construction of both a dune and beach berm with sand sourced from a federally administered offshore borrow area”
Beach restoration work will include beach tilling and monitoring, environmental species monitoring and observing the waters to make sure the project does not produce too much turbidity.
Previous beach restoration projects in Duval County have seen barges moored just off the coast with a huge tube or pipeline pumping sand on the affected areas. The county often closes the immediate surrounding areas of the beach when the restorative sand is pumped onto the coastline. The last restoration project was completed in June, 2017, before Irma slammed Florida.
The restoration project is expected to begin this year. Army Corps of Engineers officials said they will issue regular advisories to coastal communities in Duval County as the work progresses along the coastline.
Coastal erosion is of increasing concern in the Northeast Florida region. St. Johns County Commissioners reviewed a study in December that proposed spending more than $100 million for beach restoration in the southern areas of the county. Those beaches near the Matanzas Inlet, especially the Summer Haven housing development, have seen extensive erosion in recent years.