A new flow-way is now open in Chicopit Bay on the St. Johns River, and boaters there are helping the Mile Point construction crew by remaining alert in the busy construction area.
Restoring the historical flow-way in Chicopit Bay and its connection to the Intracoastal Waterway system is necessary for the Mile Point project, which will improve vessel navigation on the St. Johns River.
Mile Point is where Pablo Creek/Intracoastal Waterway meets the St. Johns River, resulting in difficult cross-currents at ebb tide. This restricts port navigation, causing delays and shipping inefficiencies.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ contractor for the project, Manson Construction Company, completed the new flow improvement channel and is now closing-off the waterway that’s been used since the breakthrough of Great Marsh Island.
Manson crews are using geo-synthetic tubes to build an island perimeter foundation to restore the Great Marsh Island. They’ll place roughly 30,000 tons of stone to construct the western training wall, and then fill the interior with dredged material.
The project will restore 18.84 acres of salt marsh at Great Marsh Island to offset the loss of 8.15 acres of salt marsh at Helen Cooper Floyd Park. Beyond the mitigation requirement, the Corps is using dredged material from the project to restore up to 53 acres of salt marsh at the island.
This effort includes restoration of high and low salt marsh as well as low dune and oyster habitat, which is an excellent fish environment. The new training wall should also substantially reduce active erosion at Great Marsh Island.