All Ready for Pensacola Beachfill

The Santa Rosa Island Authority (SRIA) will begin work this month to restore and renourish 8.1 miles of Pensacola Beach shoreline.

The project will replace sand loss experienced from Hurricanes Gustav, Ike, Ida and Isaac, as well as natural background erosion over the last ten years.

Weeks Marine, Inc., of Covington, La., will begin beach renourishment work along Ariola Drive, the central portion of the project.

The work is expected to take approximately three months to complete.

The dredger vessel is due to arrive on site the week of November 16. Initial surveys and work on the submerged pipeline has already begun.

Weeks Marine will use its 30-inch cutter suction dredger, the R.S. Weeks, to excavate sand from a permitted offshore borrow area and pump it directly to the center of the project along Ariola Drive.

Bulldozers will disperse the sand westward to Park West and the Fort Pickens gate. Once complete, the pipeline at Ariola Drive will reverse course to the east, where the beach fill will similarly be deposited eastward to just beyond Park East.

The 2015-2016 renourishment project will deposit 1.75 million cubic yards of sand along the Pensacola Beach shoreline, equating to almost 117,000 dump truck loads of sand. The current project, by comparison, is less than half of the initial beach restoration project of 2002-2003 and roughly 58 percent of the 2005-2006 beach restoration project following Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.

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