City completes final design for erosion project
The city of Sanibel and the firm that it hired have completed the extent and details of the emergency shore protection project located south of Blind Pass, running adjacent to Sanibel-Captiva Road.
“We have finalized the design,” Natural Resources Director James Evans said on July 2.
The week before, he reported that staff and Humiston & Moore Engineers were in the process of completing the dune restoration and fill template for the project. They had met at the site several weeks ago to examine it after the city contracted with the coastal engineering firm on the project design.
Evans also previously reported that they have been working with and speaking to property owners adjacent to the location, as the project includes dune restoration on two properties to the north.
“We are just getting the letters of authorization from the adjacent property owners,” he said last week.
They also are working with the Lee County Department of Transportation as it is a county road.
With the design complete, the city can define what the project will entail, including costs.
The information also will be used to apply for the necessary permits from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to do the actual work later this year.
“We are working to get the permit application filed by the end of this week, early next week,” Evans said on July 2.
Preliminary pre-application meetings with the agencies have been positive.
“They seemed supportive of the project,” Evans previously reported. “And they understand the sense of urgency with the project – that it is a roadway and main evacuation route for Captiva and Sanibel.”
As soon as the city knows that the permits are headed for approval, the city will likely put the project out to bid in order to keep the project moving along, according to Evans. A proposed contract will next be presented to the Sanibel City Council for approval. Once approved, the project can get under way.
The city is aiming to start construction in November, before the strong cold fronts arrive.
The beach accumulates sand in the summer and loses it in the winter because of the wind direction. If the project is finished before winter, sand can accumulate on top of the new sand the city deposits.
Earlier this year, the city had brought in the firm to look at the area near Pine Avenue and Castaways Beach and Bay Cottages and come up with some concepts to better protect the nearby road and properties from erosion. At the council’s meeting in May, Humiston & Moore reported the following:
“Recent storms and cold fronts in 2018 and 2019 have resulted in increased sand loss and vulnerability,” the firm stated in documents. “It is the intent of the city to design improved protection along this section of roadway and extend the protection further north and south of the existing buried (rock) revetment to provide high frequency storm protection to the most vulnerable 400-foot section of the evacuation route for the island of Captiva and the north end of Sanibel.”
“The concept plan involves the addition of a larger armor stone layer along the existing buried revetment and installation of a steel sheetpile wall with a concrete cap upland of the revetment, along the edge of the right-of-way, for the approximate 400-foot section of vulnerable roadway,” it continued. “Additional rock will be included for toe-scour protection north and south of the existing revetment seaward of the new wall and tapering of the rock further landward.”