Longboat Key beachfill project almost done

Coastal engineering firm Olsen Associates, Inc. reported yesterday that Weeks Marine dredge C.R. McCaskill is making finishing touches on the Longboat Key beach renourishment project.

According to the report, the dredge is pumping the final load of beach sand. Site clean-up, surveys, beach tilling, and vegetation planting will occur over the next few days.

The C.R. McCaskill is a 30” cutter suction dredge, comparable to the E.W. Ellefsen that was used for beach Segments 2 and 3 of the Longboat Key project.

An aerial view of the spider barge used to load scows. Weeks Marine cutterhead dredge C.R. McCaskill can be seen in the background left). The north end of Anna Maria Island is on the right (13 September 2021/Olsen Associates, Inc.).

The town’s $35 million beach renourishment project began mid-March, and is now in its final stages. The project included two contractors for the sand pumping operations along different segments of the island, and the third one for the construction of rock groins to help with the erosion.

In total, the two contractors (Weeks Marine and Cottrell Contracting) placed approx. 900,000 cubic yards of sand along the Longboat Key shoreline this spring/summer to stabilize the north tip of the island and to combat the severe erosion that threatens Greer Island.

Photo: Olsen Associates, Inc.