Longboat staff seeks approval for sand strategy

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Longboat Key Town Manager Tom Harmer and Public Works Director Isaac Brownman hope the commission adopts a proposed beach management plan.

The discussion represents about $42 million worth of beach projects over the next five years. Of that total, a budgeted amount of $25 million is slated to shore up erosional ‘hotspots’ along Longboat’s 10 miles of Gulf-front shoreline.

An additional $10 million is budgeted for what is referred to as “the north-end stabilization project.”

The cost for the beach renourishment always comes down to the quality of sand desired and the method involved in transporting it to Longboat’s shoreline.

Staff says the town will need about 912,000 cubic yards and offers three construction scenarios.

The first scenario costs about $19.76 million and would consist of coarse, gray sand extracted from a local inlet dredge and offshore shoals. Staff said this scenario would allow an 8-year renourishment interval for north, central and south segments of Longboat’s beach with a three to four-year interval for Gulfside Road.

The second construction scenario which will be presented at the Tuesday, Oct. 1 meeting, will cost about $32.6 million. The added cost is because it would consist of coarse white sand which would be extracted from a local inlet dredge as well as hauled in by trucks. Staff says this scenario will provide an 8-year nourishment interval for the north and central segments of the beach, a one-year interval for Gulfside Road and a six-year interval for the south end.

Scenario three, which staff recommends and presents as “the best compromise solution to sand color/quality versus construction acquisition and placement cost.”

Scenario three will cost about $30 million and utilize an even finer grade of white sand extracted from local inlet dredging as well as from Passage Key. This scenario would allow an 8-year nourishment interval for the north and central beach segments, a one-year interval for Gulfside Road and seven-year interval for the southern beach segment.

At the Oct. 1 meeting, the commission will discuss funding considerations including borrowing terms. The cost will be paid mainly through bonds that must be approved by voters in the two Longboat Key beach districts.

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