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Folly Beach renourishment project expected to begin within month; Gator Dredging will place 1.3 million cubic yards

A collaboration between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Folly Beach to repair beach erosion is beginning within the month.

Posted on March 11, 2024

A collaboration between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Folly Beach with hopes of repairing beaches in the area after storms created erosion is beginning within the month.

The Folly Beach renourishment project was announced back in January with the price tag of $18 million to protect future coastal storm damage, dredge the Folly River and place material on Bird Key.

Officials with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Friday that the project will begin within the month and be completed before the 2024 peak hurricane season.

“The nor’easter did increase the erosion on the island; so at the end of the day, when we design the project, we had to increase our quantities,” Army Corps of Engineers Project Manager Wes Wilson says. “The last time that we did a Folly Beach renourishment project of this scale was in 2018 due to impacts from Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma. That was a similar project and scope, scale and complexity.”

The project was awarded to Gator Dredging which will place 1.3 million cubic yards of sand on the beach. The amount is equivalent to 130,000 dump trucks.

“The contractor, depending on how much sand they need to place in each section, typically is in a 500-foot section between two and five days. Areas of the beach that are more eroded, they’re typically spend more time in it, but areas that look kind of healthy from an erosion standpoint, they’ll move pretty fast through,” Wilson says.

Folly Beach Mayor Tim Goodwin said the beach needs to be built back up so tourists and locals can enjoy the entire beach.

“It’s very important. Every beach renourishment is very important from the standpoint of it protects the infrastructure of the beach, it protects the homes and protects the roadways,” Goodwin says. “The real importance of it is to build up a system for protection from storms.”

The project is completely funded by the Corps of Engineers, removing the burden of paying for the renourishment from Folly Beach.

“That money would go to beach renourishment, scraping or placing sand,” Goodwin says. “This money, we say this time, is in the pot for repairing the beach of the next storm and the storms after that.”

Portions of the beach will be closed throughout the project’s duration. Click here to see where construction is currently taking place.

“Safety is one of our primary concerns on the project. We encourage folks to do avoid the sections that are closed during the active construction,” Wilson says.


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