The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District awarded Weeks Marine a $6,428,820 contract for sand placement on Gasparilla Island. The Corps anticipates it will take about two months to complete the project, which is scheduled to start in late May.
The Gasparilla Island segment of the Lee County Shore Protection Project is 100 percent federally funded by the Flood Control and Coastal Emergency (FCCE) Act and Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
Located along the southwest coast of Florida, the Lee County Beach Erosion Control Project authorizes sand placement on three barrier islands, including Gasparilla. Hurricane Irma impacted Gasparilla Island in 2017, reducing sand volume and eroding the northern portion of the project. The contract work includes renourishing approximately 1.4 miles of shoreline on the north reach and approximately 0.4 miles of shoreline on the south reach.
Weeks Marine will dredge and place about 161,000 cubic yards of sand on the eroded beach, bringing it to full restoration. Project work also includes beach tilling, pipeline corridor hardbottom mapping, construction/vibration control and monitoring, turbidity and environmental species monitoring, beach fill remediation and incidental related work. The contractor will dredge beach material from a borrow area located slightly north of Boca Grande Pass, and pipe it onto the beach.
The contractor will temporarily close a portion of the beach in active construction and build pedestrian crossovers over the pipeline in intervals to enable public access to the Gulf. Without delays, the Corps said construction should move an average of about 500 feet (one to two city blocks) along the beach each day.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers received disaster recovery funds provided in Public Law 115-123, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The act provides nearly $17.4 billion to the Corps for disaster recovery. Jacksonville District received $3.348 billion for long-term recovery investments in its area of responsibility, which includes Florida, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. This funding will go toward 13 studies and 22 projects that will reduce risk to communities damaged by storm events. The total Federal funding allocation for Jacksonville District recovery efforts so far, including six FCCE projects, exceeds $4 billion.