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Vol 5 No. 32- April 27, 2005

Renourishment may skip north end of LBK

SUN PHOTO/CINDY LANE

There’s not much Gulf beach left at low tide at the northern tip of Longboat Key. In fact, this beach access ends in a pile of boulders.

By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer

LONGBOAT KEY – The northern tip of Longboat Key, where sand is shifting from the Gulf side to the bay side, may not be included in the beach renourishment scheduled to begin on
May 1.

When the permitting process began two years ago, the northern end of the Key at Longboat Pass didn’t need any sand, said Cliff Truitt, the beach technical advisor for the Town of Longboat Key.

But an active 2004 storm season accelerated the natural erosion of sand from the Gulf side to the bay side, taking 100 to 150 feet of sand from the Gulf beach near the North Shore Road beach access, he said.

"It’s not part of the permit, but we’re trying to go back to add it in," he said. "We don’t know if we’ll be able to do it before the contractor is finished with the project six months from now."

The erosion is so severe that the beach access has been closed to prevent beachgoers from injuring themselves on what has become a six-foot drop off, he said. The next closest recommended beach access is at Broadway about one-quarter of a mile to the south, he said.

The $20 million project will renourish about 90 percent of the Key’s coastline, pumping sand from sites in the Gulf of Mexico through pipes onto the beach.

Manson Construction, the beach renourishment contractor, plans to bring pipes to the 3300 block of the Key this week, where pipe assembly will begin. A dredge will follow shortly.
It will be at least three months before the Town is informed whether the permit can be modified, Truitt said.


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