The Jacksonville District of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has awarded a US$15 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company to restore critically eroded shoreline along the coast of St. Johns County, Florida.
The Coastal Storm Risk Management Project will include both dune and beach berm construction along approximately 4.2 kilometres of the St. Johns County coastline from Vilano Beach to South Ponte Vedra Beach.
The initial construction will include placement of approximately 993,000 cubic metres of sand that will be dredged from shoals located within St. Augustine Inlet. Future periodic nourishment events are planned at multi-year intervals.
St. Johns County is the non-federal sponsor of the beach re-nourishment project and will contribute 71 per cent of the cost and Jacksonville District, the federal sponsor, will contribute the remaining 29 per cent.
The project is designed to address critically eroded areas along the county’s shoreline, improving coastal resilience by reducing future storm damage to infrastructure, including the area’s major hurricane evacuation route, State Road A1A. In addition, it will protect and enhance nesting habitat for sea turtles and shorebirds while maintaining existing recreational equities.
It is anticipated that mobilisation of beach equipment will start in mid-August, which will require the closure of portions of the driving beach and full closure of Surfside Park, where the contractor will store equipment during construction. The dredger is planned to arrive and begin pumping beach material in late September.
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