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Army Corps of Engineers can Fix Hurricane Matthew Dune Damage, if City of Jacksonville Pays

Posted on October 20, 2016

By Michael Yoshida, Action News Jax

Around 200,000 cubic yards of sand were lost from Northeast Florida dunes during Hurricane Matthew.

The Army Corps of Engineers say they can fix the dunes if the city of Jacksonville comes up with the $4 million to $7 million needed to pay for the project.

The cost could go even higher if a deal isn’t reached quickly.

The reason: The workers currently working on beach renourishment are covering about 500 feet of beach a day. If they finish the project and move on to projects in other parts of the country, that could add several million dollars to the price tag.

Monday night, the Army Corps of Engineers continued working to renourish local beaches by pumping more sand. The project has nothing to do with Hurricane Matthew and does not include the dunes which are not part of the federal project. But that could soon change.

“Today, I sent over a memorandum of agreement for the city. Only thing we’re doing with this agreement is saying, ‘Hey, give us the money, city of Jacksonville, and we will build the dune back to pre-existing conditions,’” said project manager Jason Harrah.

Rebuilding the dunes could cost $4 million to $7 million. The Army Corps of Engineers said a decision needs to be made soon because its team will be moving on from the area to work on other parts of the coastline.

“They’re renourishing about 500 feet of beach a day. So every day we miss, that’s that much dunes that we didn’t get an opportunity to fix,” Harrah said.

And if no agreement is made before the current project is finished, it could cost several million dollars more just to bring workers and their equipment back to our area.

“It’s obviously a lot cheaper if the contractor is moving up instead of having to return and do some areas that we missed because we didn’t have an agreement in place. It’s absolutely crucial that we can get an agreement signed, get the money, modify the contract, get the contractor building the dunes as quickly as we can,” Harrah said.

It’s money neighbor Lisa Brown hopes can be saved by coming to an agreement fast to rebuild the dunes that protected her home during the hurricane.

“The sooner the better. I mean, you can’t let it go. It’s going to take years, forever, if it were to be refurbished on its own,” Brown said.

Action News Jax is told if the agreement with the city is made before the project concludes, then the contractor could go back and fix parts of the dunes they have already passed.

Source: Action News Jax

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