Beach renourishment set for spring

Beach renourishment set for spring
- Cindy Lane | Sun

ANNA MARIA ISLAND – Storms like 2017’s Hurricane Irma have taken their toll on Island beaches, leaving beachgoers less sand for their chairs and umbrellas, but beach renourishment is scheduled to enlarge those beaches next spring.

Commissioners approved agreements on Tuesday, Oct. 8 between Manatee County and the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct two beach renourishment projects, affirming the county’s ability to pay its share, between $12.7 million to $15.9 million according to Michelle Pfeiffer, senior project engineer for Aptim, the county’s beach consultant.

The first is the “Central Beach Project” between 78th Street North in Holmes Beach to approximately Fifth Street South in Bradenton Beach. The federal government will pay for about 60%, with the state and county funding about 20% each.

The second is the “Coquina Beach Project,” beginning at Fifth Street South in Bradenton Beach and continuing south to Longboat Key. The state and county will fund that project equally.

County funds for both projects come from the county tourist tax.

Conducting the two projects back to back will save the state and county the cost of a second contractor mobilization, around $5 million, according to Charlie Hunsicker, director of the county’s Parks and Natural Resources Department.

The project could begin as early as late February and take six months to complete, with Gulf-front properties being impacted no more than three days each, he said.