INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – The latest phase of Indian River County’s beach replenishment project has fallen badly behind schedule, and will not be complete by the time sea turtle breeding season puts an end to work until next fall.
County coastal engineer James Gray told the Board of County Commissioners, as well as the Beaches and Shores Preservation Advisory Committee this week that, as of April 15, just 137,000 cubic yards of sand has been placed in Phase Two of the North Beach sand project. The project extends 14,000 feet along the shore from the Orchid Golf and Beach Club to Seaview in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge.
He said the contractor, Ranger Construction, could deliver and install 1,670 more truckloads of sand by the end of April when workers must vacate the beaches to make way for turtles.
On that basis, county staff expects 160,000 out of 280,000 cubic feet of sand called for in project specifications to be installed when work stops.
If that expectation is realized, the project will be 56 percent complete.
Commissioners have been briefed that a third phase would be necessary in order for the project to be completed.
If approved and funded by the Board of County Commissioners at its May 3 meeting, the third phase would begin in November and be slated for completion by this December or in early 2012.
Installing the final 120,000 cubic feet of sand in a separate phase would add at least $60,000 to the project’s cost, according to Gray.
The extra money would be required for an additional year of monitoring the replenishment to see how well the sand stays in place.
The county is required to observe and report on sand movement for five years after installation and the delay would extend the mandatory observation period.
The county would also have to get an additional special use permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to do work in the refuge area.