Sand contractors have 10 days to submit data for renourishment project

By Lisa ZahnerINDIAN RIVER COUNTY — With the County on the verge of receiving premits to shore up the beaches from Treasure Shores Park to the north end of John’s Island, contractors hoping to truck in sand have 10 days to show their product can meet environmental and engineering requirements.The County Beaches and Shores Preservation Advisory Committee voted Monday to schedule a special call meeting on Sept. 3 to make recommendations about awarding a contract to the Board of County Commissioners. This long-awaited renourishment project would shore up beaches adjacent to homes and condominiums that have been in peril since the 2004 hurricane season. Barrier island residents like Chairman Bill Glynn and his neighbors at Summerplace, Sea Oaks and Marbrisa are very anxious to get sand on their beaches — whether it’s trucked in or pumped in — before another storm further erodes the shoreline. “We were hoping we could finish this up (Monday),” said Glynn. “But in reviewing the bids that were put in they didn’t have all the information they needed.”Public Works Director Jim Davis said the coastal engineering staff is 90 percent through the lengthy Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting process and that his engineers need to have all the necessary data to bring the permitting to completion.”We require additional information to calculate the overfill factor for all the contractors so we can compare all the different contractors based on the quality and performance of the sand,” Davis said. Despite the County being denied in its request for $8.1 million in federal stimulus funds, Davis said the bids which came in are about half the expected cost, so that, combined with a significant contribution from the Sebastian Inlet Tax District, should make it financially feasible. The County had budgeted $19.7 million for the project, but did not know where $6.5 million of that would come from. Having the bids come in $7 to $9 million less has helped a great deal.”I’m hopeful that this project will happen, the question is when. We don’t know if it will be this year or next year,” Davis said. “These bids are so great, when you get bids this great you want to act on them quickly.”Bids are customarily good for approximately 90 days. According to Davis, the path of least resistance would be to use Great Lakes Dredging, a midwestern company which completed the Sectors 1, 2 and 7 projects in 2007. But permitting could theoretically be obtained for an upland source with all the required scientific data. It might just take longer. Ranger, a contractor out of Fort Pierce, has submitted a competitive bid and has a proven track record with smaller emergency sand projects and dune projects.Glynn had stated previously that he would like to see the County find a local or regional contractor who could do the job to specifications and give the taxpayers a good deal. Only the upland or trucked-in sand contractors are local. The only pumped in sand contractor who was close to a low bid was Great Lakes, an out-of-state company.The Beaches and Shores Preservation Advisory Committee will meet at 3 p.m. Sept. 3 in the conference room of Building B of the County Administration Complex. The meeting is open to the public.

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