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Captiva Beach Nourishment Project projected start date in May

By MEGHAN BRADBURY - | Sep 23, 2020

news@breezenewspapers.com

The next Captiva Beach Nourishment Project is making progress with a survey scheduled next month and possible start date in May of next year.

Tom Pierro, who is with Coastal Protection and Engineering and subcontracted to Aptim, shared an update regarding the Captiva Beach Nourishment Project during last week’s Captiva Erosion Prevention District meeting.

A survey has been planned for the beginning of October. A survey was done in September 2019 after Hurricane Irma.

As of the September 2019 survey, there is a 900,000 cubic yard estimate for the nourishment project. Pierro explained that once all of the data is in house and they have all the pieces they need for the design, they can have a cost estimate for 2021.

“It is estimated between 600,000 to 900,000 cubic yards (of sand). The beach and island dynamics are so dramatic and really change year after year and especially after a storm,” he said. “Storms are happening and multiple tropical systems are out in the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico right now. The good news is the beach did recover from Hurricane Irma and some of that has moderated.”

Pierro explained that once the results are updated they will have a much better estimate of the volume needed.

Cost was also among the discussion as the board had a lot of conversation revolving around the mobilization cost a few years ago. The price tag had an estimated cost of $7.5 million, which is not out of range to similar projects.

He told the commissioners that they want to be more flexible for the construction, expanding the window of work within a prescribed amount of time.

“These are big numbers and I think that is a discussion worth having to make the project more attractive and flexible,” Pierro said with regard to the bidding.

Discussion was also had regarding the time of year when the project should be done. If it happens during sea turtle nesting season there are permits in place with monitoring protocols. The permit holder goes out and clears the beach every morning and relocates any nests that may be in the construction area.

Pierro said they want to go out to bid the first part of January with a sufficient amount of time to receive bids, between 30 to 45 days. The start of the project is tentatively scheduled for May.

The project will take about five months with the first month concentrating on mobilization for everything to be put on the site, followed by construction for three to four months and then a month to demobilize the site.

Pierro said the great news is that Turner Beach can be available for a staging area and access for workers and even some equipment storage.

“Some of the past projects on Captiva were designed for an eight- year nourishment, which we are right on track for right now. The initial design for this project is for 10-year nourishment,” he said. “That is what we are looking at. If that quantity of sand turns out to be too great to bear, we can roll it back to an eight-year interval.”