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Part of Pass-A-Grille beach to be replenished

Posted on April 22, 2024

A plan for a portion of Pass-a-Grille Beach renourishment, called a Beneficial Dredge Material Project, will utilize sand from the Grand Canal Channel to improve the beach from Fourth to Ninth avenues.

Meanwhile, Assistant City Attorney Matthew McConnell told St. Pete Beach commissioners the city is closer than ever before to potentially securing the perpetual easements required for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to renourish all of St. Pete Beach.

When it comes to the Beneficial Dredge Material Project, during an April 9 meeting Public Works Director Mike Clarke told city commissioners the county will use “about 15,000 cubic yards of sand of similar size and quality as what’s on Pass-a-Grille Beach, so its suitable for placement. They are going to pull it out of the Grand Canal, pipe it over to the beach, and distribute it onto the beach just south of the Paradise Grill on Eighth Avenue.”

“It’s a win-win for everybody,” Clarke told commissioners. “Tierra Verde gets their channel back and we get a little bit of a beach.”

The project should start at the end of April or next month, he said.

Commissioner Richard Lorenzen asked about the status of the St. Pete Beach renourishment project.

The project has been held up, along with many other projects around Florida and the country, because of a discussion regarding the need for easements by the Corps of Engineers for beach access.

“We are currently tied up and working through conversations with the county on easements and how that might work, but I do not have a general timeline or an update,” he said. “Discussions are ongoing and bureaucracy is going to take the time it’s going to take.”

The project, technically called the Long Key project, is sponsored by the county. As the contracting agency the Corps of Engineers is in talks with the county; however, they are allowing the city to participate.

Lorenzen said there is a tie-up within the city of one or two properties not willing to sign perpetual easements.

McConnell said conversations are ongoing and “personally, I feel better today than I did last week about the progress we’ve made. We are in constant conversation with … Silver Sands Condominium. There’s three easements we’re waiting on for them.”

The Army Corps is insistent that “unless we get perpetual easements, we’re not getting anything,” Mayor Adrian Patrila said.

He noted “this is not a legislative, but an administrative change of tune … it’s bureaucracy and that’s really what it is.”

Once the issue is resolved, the permits should be in place and the Army Corps should be able to move forward with the city’s portion of the project, the mayor said.


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