VERO BEACH — Indian River County officials expect to begin the completion of the Sector III beach restoration project on Dec. 1 and complete work on the first phase of the project within three weeks.
Indian River County Public Works Director Chris Mora provided an update of the beach restoration project this week and told the Board of County Commissioners that if all the permitting were approved by the state, and weather permits, the rest of the Phase 1 work could be completed by Dec. 22.
Phase 1 of the project to replenish sand on 6.5 miles of beach between Treasure Shores Beach Park and Indian River Shores was halted on May 7 this year when turtle nesting season began with 36,700 cubic yards of sand still to be distributed.
The project was stopped with Golden Sands, Sanderling and some sections of Orchid yet to be completed. The county expects to receive a notice to proceed from the state on Nov. 3 and the work to begin on Dec. 1. Golden Sands Beach will be closed the three weeks while the Phase I job is being completed.
The county also expects to receive approval by the beginning of December to start work on the second phase of the project. However, they will wait to begin distributing the trucked-in sand until Feb. 1 of 2011.
The second phase of the project will distribute 267,000 cubic yards of sand on a 2.2 mile stretch of beach from Seaview south to Golden Sands Park. Indian River County Public Works Director Mora told the commissioners that the state must sign off that the Phase 1 work did not adversely affect the sea turtle population and that the Phase 2 sand is suitable for placement on the beach before work can begin.
If Phase 2 stays on schedule officials estimate it will take 69 days to complete, including five days allotted for weather delays.
The Phase II work will require closing Treasure Shores Park Beach for about 10 weeks from Feb. 1, 2011, to late March and then closing Golden Sands for four weeks from late March to April 30.
Commissioners did express some concern that Ranger Construction, which is placing the sand on the beach, has requested an advance of $275,000 to begin to collect the sand in preparation for both projects.
“Somebody is going to have to sit down and explain to us in detail why we have to pre-pay for any of this,” Commissioner Gary Wheeler said.
That request is expected to come up at the County commission meeting next Tuesday.
Thus far, the Sector III beach restoration project has cost $14.9 million with those costs shared by the county and the Sebastian Inlet Taxing Authority.