Vol 6 No. 18 - January 25, 2006
Renourishment project becoming �a hazard�
Above, New sand has eroded
away from the beach renourishment pipe in Holmes
Beach, above, leaving gaps in some areas.
SUN PHOTO/CINDY LANE
By Tom Vaught and Laurie Krosney
SUN STAFF WRITERS
BRADENTON BEACH The renourishment project that
began last July and continues to suffer delays has deteriorated
into something of a nightmare, according to those who
visit, live on or make their livings at the beach.
The string of huge pipes is blocking beach access for
many and has become dangerous and unsound due to erosion
of sand beneath it, Island officials and business owners
"Its a hazard to the health and welfare of
the people on the beach," said Bradenton Beach
Mayor John Chappie, who added that he couldnt
understand why the contractor couldnt finish the
job. "In Longboat Key, they have a contractor who
has kept going all through the winter. This contractor
obviously is not capable of doing the job."
In some areas of Bradenton Beach, the pipeline collapsed
and fell as much as four feet because so much sand had
been washed away beneath it. In other areas, three-to-four-foot
dropoffs have formed on the Gulf side of the pipes,
making it dangerous for people using sand walkovers
formed by the contractor, Goodloe Marine Inc.
So far, there have been no reports of any injuries.
However, some beachfront resort owners say theyve
had enough. Louis Najmy, owner of the Sand Pebbles Beach
Resort at the south end of the pipe in Bradenton Beach,
said he talked with other resort owners about bringing
"Its cutting into our business," he
said. "It should either be going on or going away."
Beach visitors at sunset Sunday evening were also upset.
Herb Kanter travels back and forth from Bradenton Beach
to Chicago and expressed frustration at the continuing
"Why is it taking so long?" he asked. "Why
dont they get someone else to finish it? There
must be penalties built into the contract for a project
of this size. If they cant finish it on time,
let them pay a penalty and use that to bring in someone
who can finish the job."
Barbara Kanter agreed.
"They should have finished already," she said.
"This is ridiculous."
"Its really terrible," said Al Scatino,
who hails from New York and owns property in Holmes
Beach. "Its not at all like the renourishment
projects prior to this. Those were efficient and competently
run. This ones neither. Its taking way too
long. Whats going on?"
Scatino said the other residents in his building have
People who live in the Sandpiper Mobile Park are experiencing
problems as well.
"Why is it taking so long?" asked Jeanette
Barter. "I heard it was the weather, but its
nice out there this week. Where are they? Weve
had lots of nice days when they didnt work."
Gary Raab lives in Michigan but has spent the past three
winters in Bradenton Beach.
"Everyone is complaining about it," he said.
"A lot of people have trouble getting over the
pipe and its kind of an eyesore, isnt it?
Its nice to have the beach refurbished, but it
would be nice to have it done. Why dont they make
them finish it?"
Last Friday, Holmes Beach Mayor Carol Whitmore wrote
a letter to Charles Stevens, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Project Manager for this renourishment. It read in part,
"This morning, I went with my public works official
to look at a property on the beach located on Avenue
E near 28th Street. I went down to the beach to inspect
the pipes and noticed that the water is adjacent to
the pipes now with a three-to-four foot drop-off. My
public works superintendent confirmed this. I looked
for an access to get to the water and there is none.
I am 59" and unable to get over the pipes
and to the surrounding waters."
Will it restart
Meanwhile, the Corps of Engineers might give the renourishment
contractor more time to finish the job, but there is
no decision yet on when the pipes will be removed from
the beach until the project starts again.
Thats the word following a conference call between
the Corps and the parties involved with the project
that began after the fourth of July and was plagued
by equipment breakdowns and bad weather all summer.
When the project dragged into summer, the contractor,
Goodloe Marine, Inc., asked for an extension because
it could not dredge sand in water that had high waves.
"The Corps is trying to bring the contractor back,"
said Rick Spadoni, Senior Vice President of Coastal
Planning and Engineering, which Manatee County hired
to keep an eye on the quality of the project. "He
wants to start April 1 because he feels its too
dangerous to work out there before then.
"We have indications the Corps will allow a permit
extension to May 1," he said. "They might
get it extended to June 1, but after that, we get into
Spadoni said he thought they could resolve the issue
with a conference call scheduled for Wednesday, Jan.
Fate of the pipes
When The Sun called Goodloe last week to ask about the
pipe, an employee there said to ask the Corps of Engineers.
Ron Rutger, Corps team leader for the project, said
he thought the pipes would be moved soon.
"Once they make a decision, the pipes will either
be stored in appropriate locations or the job wont
go on, in which case the pipes will go away," Rutger
said. "If they decide to give Goodloe an extension,
the pipe wont leave the beach completely, but
they will be stored in appropriate locations on the
The issue of endangered sea turtle nesting is a big
one for the Corps to consider. Manatee
County Ecosystems Coordinator Charlie Hunsicker said
he did not feel the Corps would consider extending the
permit into the summer, when turtle nesting begins,
and the contractor will have to finish before then.
An issue of water depth
When asked why Goodloe had to stop dredging while the
Longboat Key project is still ongoing, Rutger said the
dredge in that project has a hopper into which the sand
is loaded and it is then barged to a pipe near the shore.
He said that type of operation is more resistant to
Longboat Key Public Works Director Juan Florensa confirmed
that the dredge on their project is a hopper dredge.
He also talked about why that type of dredge would not
work for our project.
"The hopper dredge is a big vessel, about 300 feet
long and it draws as much as 23- to 24-feet of water
when it is full," he said. "They area where
Goodloe is working is not deep enough for a dredge hopper,
so they are using a hydraulic cutter head for your project."
Our timing was bad
"I believe that if they had started in April last
year, it would have been a piece of cake," he said.
"They ran into problems with storms when they started
Rutger said the contractor only suffered two or three
significant breakdowns that kept then out of operation
for more than a day, otherwise, the problem has been
Instead of starting our renourishment in April 2005,
there is a chance that Goodloe will put the final touches
on it in April 2006.
Go back to Index January 25
Go back to Index archives
us | News
Island | Subscription
Store | Classified