The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District and St. Johns County finalized a critical agreement on April 23 for construction of the St. Johns County Coastal Storm Risk Management Project – South Ponte Vedra Beach and Vilano Beach areas.
The Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) is the next step toward construction of the project. It is a legally binding agreement between the government and non-federal sponsor that serves to define responsibilities, cost-sharing and execution of work.
The 3-mile long project will build a 60-feet beach berm, including the restoration of critically eroded dunes. Initial construction includes placement of 1.3 million cubic yards of sand, with three periodic nourishment events occurring in 12-year intervals. The periodic nourishments will place an average of 866,000 cubic yards of sand on the beach. Sand will be dredged from the St. Augustine Inlet System (shoals and channel).
The Corps said this project addresses critically eroded areas along St. Johns County’s shoreline. The completion of the project will improve community and environmental resilience by reducing damages to infrastructure, including the major hurricane evacuation route State Road A1A. It will protect and enhance habitat and environmental resources, by providing a minimum of 3.15 acres of continuous nesting habitat for sea turtles and shorebirds, maintained over 50 years. In addition, the project maintains existing recreation, and protects and enhances beach/dune interaction.
The project cost-share for initial construction is 23 percent federal, and 77 percent non-federal. Periodic nourishments are 17.7 percent federal, and 82.3 percent non-federal. Advertisement for the construction contract is anticipated for January 2020, and contract award scheduled for March 2020. Construction is anticipated to take approximately six months (weather pending).