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What are those giant mounds of sand on Miami Beach? Will they affect tourist season?

Posted on February 27, 2023

As spring break approaches and tourist season hits full swing in Miami Beach, segments of the beach will be closed to the public during an ongoing effort to fight erosion by hauling in massive amounts of sand.

Visitors will see mountains of sand piled up between 46th and 49th streets in the coming weeks, affecting an area near the Eden Roc and Fontainebleau hotels.
Beach entrances near 46th Street were closed late this week as trucks cycled in and out through a nearby parking lot, which is being used as a staging area. Parts of the beach in the few blocks to the north will also close as the work continues, said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman David Ruderman.

The entire segment is expected to be completed in late April.

A map shows the status of a sand renourishment project in the Mid-Beach area of Miami Beach. City of Miami Beach

The work is part of a $40 million beach renourishment project funded by the Army Corps that began early last year to address four erosion hot spots in Miami Beach: ▪ Work on a segment between 44th and 49th streets began last summer and was put on hold in November in anticipation of Art Basel. It picked up again this month. ▪ Restoration between 60th and 69th streets, with a staging area in Allison Park, has been completed.

▪ Another segment from 50th to 56th streets, near Beach View Park, is nearing completion. The beach in that area is open to the public, though part of a parking lot at 53rd Street remains closed for staging. The segment is set for a final inspection next week, Ruderman said.

▪ The final segment is between 23rd and 36th streets. Work is expected to begin in mid- to late April and conclude in August.

Trucks work atop piles of sand near 46th Street in Miami Beach as part of a beach renourishment project on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. Aaron Leibowitz

SAND HAULED IN FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA All told, the project will truck in approximately 835,000 cubic yards of sand to counter the thinning of Miami Beach caused by sea level rise and storms. The sand acts as a critical buffer against flooding and storm surge.

In 1968, the Army Corps began a beach restoration project for about a dozen miles of shoreline in Miami Beach, Surfside and Bal Harbour. READ MORE: ‘Sand is like gold.’ The pricey race to restore Florida beaches before the next hurricane Miami-Dade County exhausted its offshore sand supply in 2014, forcing Miami Beach to rely on sand trucked in from Central Florida, where mines are scattered along an inland sand deposit called the Cypresshead Formation. Dump trucks haul the sand to Miami Beach and drop about a dozen cubic yards of it onto the beach at a time.

A truck loaded with sand makes its way toward the coast near Indian Beach Park in Miami Beach on Oct. 12, 2022. MATIAS J. OCNER


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