The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, said in its latest release that Duval County beach goers are now enjoying a newly engineered beach that improves the area’s resiliency to wave action and reduces risk to infrastructure.
Contractors completed the dredge work last week, achieving the goal of restoring protection features prior to hurricane season, which started yesterday.
The Duval County shore protection project nourished eroded beaches and rebuilt dunes devastated by Hurricane Matthew’s passing in October 2016. The City of Jacksonville funded the additional dune work that included building dunes in Jacksonville, Neptune and a portion of Atlantic Beach.
More than a million cubic yards of sand – equivalent to more than 2.7 billion pounds – was dredged, piped and tilled across about ten miles of county shoreline.
Roughly 860,000 cubic yards went to building the beach and another 200,000 cubic yards went to rebuilding dunes. About 5,000 cubic yards of additional sand is currently stockpiled and the city plans to truck-transfer it along the beach to repair specific areas of dune erosion generally between 18th and 27th Avenues South on Jacksonville Beach.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ contractor, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) Company, first initiated construction in mid-September 2016 to widen the beach berm between 20 to 60 feet, and raise the elevation of the beach by about 3 to 5 feet.
In early October, Hurricane Matthew swept by and devastated much of the county’s beaches.
The City and the Corps took swift actions to recover and move forward with surveys and a contract that included the dune work. Dredging stopped in December as originally scheduled, however, due to the additional workload and Great Lakes’ prior commitments, USACE said.
Work resumed again on April 1, 2017, and GLDD completed dredging on May 24.