By Tom Vaught
SUN STAFF WRITERS
BRADENTON BEACH Faced with the uncertainty of
not knowing what the weather might do, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers has told beach renourishment contractor
Goodloe Marine, Inc., to pack up and leave.
Project manager Ben Goodloe got the news Monday, according
to Corps field project director Ron Rutger.
"The Corps sent a letter to Goodloe directing them
to remove the pipe from the beach by June 1," he
said. "Weve run out of time and the weather
has not cooperated at all."
Rutger estimate no more than 60 percent of the project
had been finished. Goodloe started removing pipe from
the beach shortly after receiving the letter. Rutger
said the contractor would still perform the final grading
of the beach to smooth out the surface of the sand and
prevent escarpments from forming.
Goodloe called a halt to the renourishment last November
due to winter storms that brought winds and high waves,
which they said made it dangerous to be offshore on
the dredge that was sucking sand from the Gulf bottom.
The project had begun July 5, 2005, and was delayed
several times due to tropical storms and hurricanes
near the area and in the Gulf.
Following a winter of indecision on whether to take
up the pipeline that went down the beach from just north
of Manatee County Beach to just north of Katie Pierola
Park, Goodloe was given the go-ahead to restart. The
Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission gave permission
for the dredging to resume, despite the beginning of
nesting season on the beach for endangered sea turtles.
But they were told to get all their equipment off the
beach by June 1.
Before the project began, Manatee County matched a $250,000
payment from the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection for an engineering study to find the best
quality sand for the beaches. The Corps is normally
charged with finding sand, not always good quality sand,
to protect the beaches when it directs a renourishment,
but the county wanted to make sure the color and texture
more closely matched what was already on the beach.
Manatee County Conservation Lands Management Director
Charlie Hunsicker commented on the project.
"Despite the difficulties, the county is grateful
for the supplemental sand we received under the federal
contract," he said. "The work on the beaches
this past year made a better buffer and we feel it was
Hunsicker said the county looks forward to adding sand
to Anna Maria and Coquina Beach in a project being planned
for this November.
Last week, Goodloe asked to be able to use the parking
lot at Manatee County Beach to stage pipes that would
be taken away after the job. The Manatee County Commission
voted not to allow that parking lot to be used, but
the county did give Goodloe permission to use Coquina
Park Bayside to load the pipes on ships to be taken