MARCO ISLAND — Sand will start flowing in March onto Marco Island’s south beach as a $1.57 million project to renourish the beach and repair breakwaters and jetties gets underway. The project will be paid for using Tourist Development Council funds.
The preconstruction meeting for the project was held Tuesday with the Beach Advisory Committee getting a report on the project’s timeline on Wednesday. Nancy Richie, city environmental specialist, attended both meetings and gave the report.
Mobilization of materials will begin early next month. The dredge and pipes will appear first; then heavy equipment to move sand into place. Cavache, Inc., a Pompano Beach, Fla., company, was awarded the contract for renourishment.
Sand has been eroding from south beach for years with major storms causing the most damage. Sand will be replaced from the Somerset condominium on South Collier Boulevard to Cape Marco. On the beach, the area is identified from markers R-146 to G-4.
During the first phase of the project, approximately 77,000 cubic yards of sand will be pumped onto the beach from surrounding waters. Delivering sand will take about 15 days. Large equipment will maneuver sand into place and sculpt the beach to an approved template.
The City of Marco Island made an exception for the project and agreed to have work continue 24 hours per day. Construction hours are usually 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Richie said.
By permit, all phase one activities must be completed before May 1, the beginning of turtle nesting season.
Richie said safety fencing will be placed around active work areas, but walkers will be able to cover the full length of the beach. The south beach pedestrian entrance will not be closed although day visitors may need to move further up the beach and away from fenced areas.
The second phase of the project can be completed after May 1 and will include rebuilding two jetties and breakwaters parallel to the beach. Barges will bring materials to the site where additional height will be added to existing structures. The jetties and breakwaters are designed to slow the natural erosion of sand.
In other committee business, Richie reported the city received 42 complaints about dogs on Sand Dollar Island. The area is a haven for boaters, she said, but falls within Marco Island’s city limits.
Dogs are not allowed on any beaches with the city. Leashed dogs are allowed on Keewaydin Island, a short distance away and outside city jurisdiction.
Debbie Roddy, committee chairwoman, said work on Tigertail Beach boardwalks should be completed by mid-March. A bathroom facility near the parking lot at the beach’s south end should be completed by the end of August. Tigertail Beach is a county facility.
Four candidates have applied for an open seat on Collier County’s Coastal Advisory Committee. A candidate will be selected on March 4 by city council to fill the seat. Marco Island holds three seats on the nine member CAC.
The next meeting of the Beach Advisory Committee is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20 in the Community Room, 51 Bald Eagle Drive. The next beach clean-up is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 16. Volunteers should meet at the south beach boardwalk.