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Gulf Shores Alabama Beach Restoration has Commenced with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock mobilized

Posted on October 26, 2023

Exciting News! The long-anticipated Beach Restoration Project is now officially underway! This vital initiative is geared towards mending the damage the City of Gulf Shores, Gulf State Park, and the City of Orange Beach sustained during Hurricane Nate and Hurricane Sally.

Here’s what you need to know about this project:

Project Schedule:

  • The project is expected to progress swiftly in Gulf Shores with minimal disruption. Crews will be hard at work 24/7, utilizing two dredging vessels for maximum efficiency. An impressive 18,500 cubic yards of sand will be restored to our beaches daily, equivalent to about 1,240 dump truck loads per day! Weather permitting, here’s the current project schedule:
    • October 20 – The contractor has already begun equipment mobilization at the beach, and you might have spotted pipes set up at various beach accesses.
    • November 1 – Dredging commences east of Little Lagoon Pass, targeting the most eroded areas first
    • November 27 – Dredging starts west of Little Lagoon Pass, extending to the Bon Secour Wildlife Refuge. Concurrently, restoration efforts continue in beach areas east of Little Lagoon Pass, stretching to the Gulf State Park.
    • January 1 – Dredging and restoration will be wrapped up within Gulf Shores City Limits, extending further to encompass the Gulf State Park and Orange Beach.

Beach Closures & Accessibility Impacts:

  • Crews will focus on sections of approximately 1,500 feet of beach at a time, temporarily closing these areas to the public for around 72 hours to ensure uninterrupted sand replenishment.
  • Access to the beach will remain available in areas outside of immediate work zones and completed restoration areas. Ramps will be placed over the pipes to facilitate shoreline access.
  • Public beach accesses will serve as construction access points and equipment storage throughout the project. Any closures will be communicated in advance.
  • Starting November 1, blue accessibility maps will be temporarily removed from the beach and reinstalled after restoration is finalized.

Environmental Protection:

  • Sea turtle monitoring and nest relocation have already been carried out.
  • In-water trawling and continuous monitoring for sea turtles, manatees, gulf sturgeon, and other wildlife will be ongoing throughout the project.
  • Preservation of dune vegetation is a priority, with additional dune vegetation being planted as part of the project.
  • A critical part of this project will include rebuilding our dune system. Dunes will be rebuilt up to around 12 feet of elevation, with Approximately 500,000 plants and more than 3,000 feet of sand fencing installed along the dune system.

Additional updates will be sent to notify the public of project progress, access closures or schedule changes.

For more information regarding the Beach Restoration Project, please contact the Emergency Management Department at 251-968-2425.

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