The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s dredger Currituck will next week begin the Ponce de Leon Inlet maintenance dredging project.
According to the Corps, the maintenance dredging of the inlet is scheduled to begin April 11 and provides an interim solution to sand deposited in the inlet by Hurricane Matthew.
The project will remove approximately 130,000 cubic yards of material in the vicinity of the U.S. Coast Guard Buoy R8B in the Ponce de Leon Inlet. The sand will be placed in the nearshore, off New Smyrna Beach, south of the inlet.
The Corps’ Currituck is to complete the work by May 15, keeping the channel open for safe navigation for as long as possible through summer 2017.
USACE intends to combine a more robust dredging of the Ponce de Leon Inlet with dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway (IWW), in the vicinity of the Ponce de Leon Inlet later this year – with plans to issue a solicitation in September for bids from small businesses to dredge in the winter and spring 2018, reported the Corps Jacksonville District.
The sand from the consolidated project will be placed in the nearshore of New Smyrna Beach via the covered Sapphire Road cross-island pipe.
The Corps added that consolidating these dredging projects is anticipated to result in a cost savings of $1 million to $1.5 million. Placement of the dredged material in the nearshore of New Smyrna Beach brings dredging and coastal protection together through regional sediment management (RSM).
The mission of RSM is to use sand or sediment that is necessary to be dredged from navigation channels and places it on or near shorelines to renourish beaches and provide coastal protection.