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Project at Turner Beach moves into permitting

By Staff | Aug 6, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED The design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project has been finalized and permit applications to proceed with the work have been submitted to the necessary agencies.

The final design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project was recently completed.

Coastal Engineering Consultants was hired by the city of Sanibel, in partnership with Lee County, to address two main issues at the site: erosion within the parking lot and riprap along the shoreline.

On Aug. 2, Community Services Department Director Keith Williams reported that during extreme high tides or waves or during storm events, a portion of the shoreline and parts of the lot are lost.

“Including the guardrail that protects the parking lot,” he said.

The project aims to re-enforce or stabilize the shoreline without making changes to it.

Within the last month or so, the firm completed the design for the work.

“They finished up the design,” Williams said.

Since then, the city has submitted permit applications to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District for the project.

“We got everything submitted,” he said. “It remains in permitting with the state.”

As for the final design, it is similar to what representatives from Coastal Engineering Consultants presented to the Captiva Erosion Prevention District’s board at a meeting held earlier this year.

“It’s remained pretty consistent,” Williams said of the plan for the project.

At the CEPD meeting, the firm’s representatives reported that the areas targeted for improvement include the asphalt curtain at the entrance to the parking lot and the catch basins at the entrance and south end. The draft design also entailed closing off pedestrian access to the beach through the dunes by building them up about 4 feet, extending the fence to the riprap, and putting in new vegetation.

The representatives noted that most of the work is landward, except for the riprap.

At the time, they reported that the riprap on the shoreline would be approximately 300 feet and raised to an elevation of 6 feet. It would tie into where the CEPD had done rehabilitation work in the past.

Williams estimated that the permit process may take six to eight weeks.

“We anticipate it will be in permitting for another month or so,” he said.

Williams explained that in reviewing the applications, each agency will look at the aspects of the project that fall under their scope or jurisdiction. The DEP will review the Coastal Construction Control Line, the Corps will look at sawfish habitat and such, and the district will consider the shoreline.

“They could request some clarifications,” he said. “They could request some changes.”

The next step is securing the design and obtaining approval.

“Then we’ll put the project out to bid, award it and move forward with construction,” Williams said.

The work is expected to take place in 2020.

As the city manages the Turner Beach site as part of an interlocal agreement, the project is being funded through the Lee County Tourist Development Council. The city is requesting $580,000 to cover the design and construction. It has already secured $280,000 and plans to submit a request for the remaining $300,000 at the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1.