Okaloosa OKs beach restoration work

Please use the SHARE buttons to forward this news

TONY JUDNICH @Tonyjnwfdn

CRESTVIEW — The Okaloosa County Commissionunanimously agreed Tuesday to spend an estimated $2 million in bed tax money to restore a portion of severely eroded beach on Holiday Isle.

The city of Destin has a maintenance dredge permit that can be used for the beach restoration work, which would utilize a dredge that is already at work in East Pass on the Norriego Point restoration project.

Besides using their permit, Destin officials would be responsible for contract negotiations and construction management for the beach restoration. The county’s Tourist Development Department will reimburse the city for the costs, according to TDD Director Jennifer Adams.

A proposed county and city interlocal agreement calls for Destin officials to contract with the dredge company, Luhr Bros. Inc. of Columbia, Illinois, to dredge sand from the pass for the beach project. In addition, the city anticipates contracting with the county’s continuing professional service provider for coastal engineering — Jacksonville-based Taylor Engineering — to provide construction management.

Pending final approval, the beach restoration would begin sometime after Luhr Bros. is finished dredging sand for Norriego Point.

The dredging work for Norriego Point is scheduled to be completed by the end of March, according to Destin City Manager Carisse LeJeune. A timeline for the beach restoration hasn’t been set yet.

The project calls for placing about 130,000 cubic yards of sand in the Western Destin Reach 1 project area, which extends from the East Jetty about 4,000 feet to the east.

The TDD regularly monitors the county beaches, Adams said in an agenda request to the commission on Tuesday. She said a monitoring report from last year indicated that about 38 percent (almost 240,000 cubic yards) of sand that was placed in the 2013 Western Destin Beach Restoration Project has been eroded.

“This erosion is particularly evident in Reach 1,” Adams said.

Destin’s permit requires that the sand used in the project “cannot go further inland than essentially the wet sand area,” county Coastal Management Coordinator Jim Trifilio told commissioners at their meeting in Crestview. “So it will be placed in what’s known as a “swash” zone, which is wet sand and then a little bit seaward, to an elevation of no more than 3 feet.

“It will add dry beach to the project,” Trifilio added. “It just won’t be as impressive as the 2013 project,” but will still allow the beach to restore itself over time.

Also on Tuesday, the commission agreed to support Commissioner Nathan Boyles’ motion to have staff look into the best ways to evaluate the long-term stability of the beaches east of the East Jetty.

“We know this particular area has a habitual problem with erosion,” Commissioner Trey Goodwin said.

The Destin City Council discussed the proposed Reach 1 project on Monday.

The work is “desperately needed,” Councilman Tuffy Dixon said.

At a special meeting set for 5:30 p.m. this coming Monday, the council will be asked to approve the interlocal agreement with the county and the contracts for the dredging and construction management services. The agreement will also need the County Commission’s approval.

Be the first to comment on "Okaloosa OKs beach restoration work"

Leave a comment