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Work expected to start on Turner Beach project

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Sep 1, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED The design for the Turner Beach shoreline stabilization project.

The shoreline stabilization project at Turner Beach Park is scheduled to begin next week.

On Aug. 28, Sanibel Community Services Department Director Keith Williams reported that the city secured the development permit from Lee County in recent weeks — the last needed to proceed.

“Which has given us the opportunity to set a start date for the project,” he said.

In addition to the county permit, permit applications were submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the work and were approved.

While the Turner Beach Park is on Captiva, the city manages the site through an interlocal agreement with Lee County, with the Lee County Tourist Development Council providing most needed funds.

For the upcoming project, the TDC granted the city $580,000 to complete the work. At its July meeting, the Sanibel City Council awarded the project bid to Thomas Marine Construction.

“Since the council awarded the project, we’ve been able to work with the contractor,” Williams said.

“We are now anticipating starting the project on Tuesday, Sept. 8,” he added.

The final design for the project was completed by Coastal Engineering Consultants, and it addresses two main issues at the site: erosion within the beach parking lot and the riprap along the shoreline.

Williams noted that the area is located adjacent to Blind Pass.

“It’s susceptible to high water flooding and erosion during inclement storm events,” he said, adding that the project’s aim is to better stabilize the shoreline along the pass and to better protect the parking lot.

The work includes repairs to the riprap that extends from the bridge to the base of the groin wall, repairs to the wooden fence, storm drain installation — which will flow to the current retention basin — installation of two concrete-pad accessible parking spots, and the construction of a new dune that will cut off the westernmost walking path to the beach connecting the existing dunes to the riprap.

The estimated timeline for the work is Sept. 8 through Nov. 26.

“That’s the duration of the project,” Williams said. “Obviously, weather permitting.”

Turner Beach Park will be closed to the public during that time.

“Signage will be going up next,” he said.

During the duration of the project, the parking lot and restrooms will not be accessible. Williams explained that the signage will encourage people to instead visit Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel.

“We are asking beach-goers to be patient as we do this project,” he said.