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Sand loss demands noisy solution

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

In the face of severe erosion there are arguably only two ways to restore sand on Longboat Key’s beaches: by suction or by shovel.

Residents can see the suction method in place right now on the north end of the island as about 100,000 cubic yards of sand are being transported through long tubes after being dredged near Jewfish Key. The sand is part of an emergency beach renourishment to buttress severe erosion that recently threatened the structures at 360 North Condominiums and Longbeach Condominiums.

No sooner had this project started, than several homeowner associations behind the gate at Longboat Key Club Islandside at the very south end of the key, informed the town that severe and unprecedented erosion was threatening their structures and property.

The condominium associations, which included L’Ambiance, Sanctuary and Pierre, spoke of the need for the town to quickly address the situation. The response was given to the town commission at last Monday’s regular commission meeting, when Town Manager Dave Bullock presented a plan to bring a couple thousand trucks and weeks of disruption to transport upland sand to create a protective beach. At the meeting, Bullock and staff showed that there is about a 3,000-foot long escarpment where the property drops in some places up to seven feet, to where the water laps during high tide.

Bullock asked for and received permission from the commission to enter into a contract to design a beach project with the Olsen Engineering Firm and to go to bid to determine the actual costs. Bullock said he would not enter into a contract without returning to the commission.

The cost could be well upwards of $1.5 million to bring several thousand trucks of sand ten hours per day, to the beach along the Islandside properties. That cost is based on about a 25,000 cubic yard project, but Bullock said it could be two or three times more needed and the engineering report will offer that clarity.

Bullock said he would return in the fall after the summer commission hiatus with the cost and the amount of sand needed to complete the work. The commission will then decide on a direction.

Bullock told Longboat Key News that there is no public access and the town will need to acquire an easement to reach the beach area. Bullock said they will have to approach the area through Key Club Road, and he added that he wished to make it clear that the process will be very loud and disruptive.

“A couple thousand trucks will be noticed for weeks and weeks and weeks. It will be a conga-line of trucks coming in and out and going on the beach and dumping sand all day. It is unlike a dredge, which is relatively silent. This is a bunch of disruption,” said Bullock. Bullock said the earliest the process would start if approved by the commission, would be in November 2014.

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Longboat Key News

3 Responses for “Sand loss demands noisy solution”

  1. Who's on First says:

    Whatever became of planning? As in, calling the town and determining IF and WHEN sand will be placed upon the sacred shores outside your chosen spot in the sun. I’d place additional blame on any travel agency that might place you adjacent to a restoration project during ones precious vacation dates.
    Of course, one might consider staying elsewhere if your dates coincide with the town dates, and there is always booze – the liquor store at the north end beckons. Hopefully our new town manager will continue to pull rabbits out of hats and minimize this cost to island residents and taxpayers – vacationers don’t have it all bad – it’s the resident taxpayers that consider the cost of sand a kick in the groin.

  2. ghost rider says:

    Is this (replenishment via truck loads) just an effort to scare condo owners who are asking for help restoring their beach?
    No.
    Also replenishment via dredge is not quiet–
    Agreed
    because it takes huge tractors/end loaders to distribute the sand evenly to all parts of the beach.
    Yes,again.
    We lived thru this once before and it ruined our vacation.

    The solution is alcohol. Lots of it. Jus’ think about its medicinal benefits to life and limb. In conjunction with a noisy wall-unit your problem is solved. AND———you forgot to ask what those bridges will look like after 3000 trips across them.

    At some point in time [Dear Reader: Let’s call it twenty-four months] an esteemed firm will recommend an elevated cement prominade. We will no longer have a beach but we will have a stretch to walk our four chihuahuas.
    Do not forget the scooper.

  3. R. Brunner says:

    Is this (replenishment via truck loads) just an effort to scare condo owners who are asking for help restoring their beach? Also replenishment via dredge is not quiet because it takes huge tractors/end loaders to distribute the sand evenly to all parts of the beach. We lived thru this once before and it ruined our vacation.

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