North Longboat beach about to get bigger

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The sands of time will soon deposit about 20,000 cubic yards of sand on the highly eroded north end of Longboat Key.

According to Longboat Public Works Director Isaac Brownman, trucks will start arriving from Davenport, Florida on Wednesday and the sand will be spread on the public beach from North Shore Road north toward the Manatee County line and Greer Island.

The sand will primarily be placed between the two existing groins that were installed to help mitigate the severe erosion that has threatened condominium owners and public property, especially the Longbeach Condominiums and 360 North Condominiums.

The town’s contractor, Earth Tech Enterprises, expects the entire project to take no more than 30 days to complete unless extreme rain or weather events occur. The town has allowed extended working hours for the project and crews will be spreading sand from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The North Shore public beach access will be closed during the duration of the project and there will be road closure and limited access to parking along North Shore Road. Residents can expect to see haul trucks, front end loaders, bulldozers and excavators.

This effort is but a component of an ongoing strategy to maintain not only a protective beach but also a full recreational beach. Brownman says it is currenly very difficult for residents or visitors to even access the once-expansive stretch that was walk-able all the way to the tip of Greer Island and the Longboat Pass Bridge.

The Town Commission is currently in the process of obtaining permits to add five additional groins, three rock groins to the north and two to the south of the existing groins.

The town seeks cooperation as well as financial resources for the northernmost groin proposed that would be situated in the Manatee County portion of Greer Island.

The town was recommended a terminal groin at one time for Longboat Pass by its engineers but it is not pursuing it at this time.

“I think we’re embarking on this project at a good time. It’s pretty well eroded and although it has been worse at times in the past, we are entering the storm season,” said Brownman.

If any resident has questions about the project, they can call the Longboat Key Public Works Department, 941-316-1988.

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