With the Mile Point project currently underway, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asks boaters to slow down and use extra caution within the Mile Point construction area on the St. Johns River.
The construction zone contains a variety of large vessels, including a crane barge, an excavator barge, several support barges and a dredge with pipelines, in the Chicopit Bay and Intracoastal Waterway on the St. Johns.
Some areas are restricted to construction personnel only due to public safety concerns.
The Mile Point project will improve vessel navigation by rerouting the navigable waters in the Chicopit Bay and the Inter-Coastal Waterway system.
Mile Point is where the St. Johns River meets the Intracoastal Waterway, resulting in difficult cross-currents at ebb tide. This restricts port navigation, causing delays and shipping inefficiencies.
The Corps’ contractor for the project, Manson Construction Company, is using geo-synthetic tubes and Concrete Structural Units (west leg training wall) to build an island perimeter foundation and then fill in the interior with dredged material to restore the Great Marsh Island.
They will also place roughly 30,000 tons of stone to construct the east leg training wall.
The Mile Point project will result in the loss of 8.15 acres of salt marsh at Helen Cooper Floyd Park, but the Corps is using dredged material from the project to restore up to a total of 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.
The new west leg training wall should also substantially reduce active erosion at Great Marsh Island.