FAQ – Duval County, FL Shore Protection Project

BEACH RENOURISHMENT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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When and where is the 2018 beach renourishment project starting?

The project is currently anticipated to start near 33rd Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach and continue south to the county line. Once that is complete, the project will start back at 33rd Avenue South and continue northward throughout Jacksonville Beach.   It will then continue through Neptune Beach, Atlantic Beach, and conclude at north Hanna Park, about ½ mile south of the Poles at Mayport NS.

Initially, most equipment and dredge pipe will be brought onto the beach at 16th Avenue South, Jacksonville Beach.  This will occur from mid- to late-October.   The dredge is currently anticipated to begin pumping sand onto the beach by the first week of November 2018.

How long will the beach renourishment project take?

From start to finish, and assuming reasonable weather, it is expected to take about 3 months.  After sand placement begins, work is anticipated to take about 40 days through Jacksonville Beach, 5 to 10 days through Neptune Beach, about 30 days through Atlantic Beach and about 10 days along Hanna Park.  In typical conditions, the sand fill placement will progress by about 500 to 600 feet alongshore each day.

See the Progress Map on the olsen-associates.com/duval web-page for a regularly updated project schedule.

What are the working hours for the project?

The project is permitted for, and will be constructed, 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week.

How much sand is being placed on the beach by the project?

Approximately 880,000 cubic yards of sand will be replaced during this project.  Of this, about 810,000 cy will be placed to the beach berm and 70,000 cy will be placed to the dune.  This is about 25% less than the volume placed during the last nourishment in 2016-17 after Hurricane Matthew, and about 25% more than the volumes placed in the prior routine project renourishments in 2005 and 2011. 

Why is the beach being renourished again?

The 2018-19 renourishment will repair storm damage to the beach and dunes caused by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, and it will complete the repairs from Hurricane Matthew (October 2016) along north Atlantic Beach, south Jacksonville Beach, and parts of Hanna Park.

Where does the sand come from?

Sand is being dredged from seven miles offshore of Duval County. It is the same location used in the 2016-17 renourishment; and, it is in generally the same location used during all prior beach nourishment projects since 1978 (excepting the project in 1993 which placed sand from deepening of the St. Johns River Entrance that resulted in large oyster shells placed upon the beach which were subsequently removed.) 

Why does the color of the sand vary?

The newly dredged and placed sand initially looks a little different than the pre-project beach. Beachgoers might notice that the sand is slightly more coarse and gray.  However, the new sand has met specific criteria mandated by the State of Florida for Duval County’s beaches including grain size distribution, shell content, and color.  Over a period of a few days or weeks, the sun will bleach the sand until it is gradually closer to the color you are used to seeing.

Will there be access to the beach during the project?

The beach will remain open to residents and visitors outside the active work areas. The contractor expects to temporarily close at least 1,200 feet of the beach at a time during the renourishment project. Access over the dredging pipes will be provided every 300 feet. The work should proceed about 500 feet or more along the shore each day.  So, typically, access to the beach at any particular location will be closed for only about 2 or 3 days as the renourishment work progresses up the beach.

Are parts of the beach going to be skipped?

All of the beach from the Duval/St. Johns County line to northern Atlantic Beach (17th/18th Street) – about 6.5 miles — will be renourished with sand in 2016.

Will there be vibration monitoring along the beach front for existing structures?

Yes.  A local firm is contracted to monitor vibrations from the construction equipment throughout the project.

What can be done about the noise from the machinery back-up alarms?

The back-up alarms cannot be turned off. The alarms are a safety device required by Federal law to protect people from being hit by machinery when the driver is unable to see directly behind his equipment.

How does this project impact sea turtles?

Daily early-morning monitoring by state-permitted turtle observers began in April and late-summer nests were relocated to a safe location outside the work area.  The current schedule (late October through January) puts all of the work outside of marine turtle nesting season, which typically runs from about mid-April to mid-October. Daily monitoring for marine turtle nests will resume in early April 2019.

When can planting of sea oats and other native vegetation begin?

The City of Jacksonville will plant sea oats along the rebuilt dunes, beginning after mid-March 2019.  It is anticipated that over 250,000 plants will be installed.  (The 2016-17 renourishment, after Hurricane Matthew, installed 650,000 dune plants.)

Planting by individuals may take place after the beach fill is completed. A FDEP field permit is necessary for dune planting and can be obtained by calling (877) 314-1329.  It is noted, however, that planting or expanding dune vegetation beyond its existing seaward limits is not recommended because the current dune/vegetation line is already located mostly seaward of its historical, or natural, limit that can be maintained by the beach project.

Who pays for the project?

The federal government (US Army Corps of Engineers) is paying 100% of the costs for the 2018-19 beach renourishment – placing sand to the beach berm (about $14.2M) — and the City of Jacksonville is paying for the added costs to place sand and sea oats to the dunes (about $1.7M).  So, the overall cost-share for the 2018-19 project is about 90% federal / 10% local.  And, State of Florida grant money and/or FEMA funds will reimburse up to 93% of the local (City of Jacksonville) costs for the work.  The project’s normal cost share is typically about 61% federal / 19% State / 20% City of Jax.

How can I get information about the renourishment project?

Additional information about the history, scope, progress, and construction schedule of the renourishment project is available at www.olsen-associates.com/duval , and will be updated during construction.  You may also contact the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District Corporate Communications Office, at 904-232-2568 or 904-232-2233, PublicMail.CESAJ-CC@usace.army.mil.  For local information, contact the Jacksonville Beach Public Works Department at 247-6211; the Neptune Beach Public Works Department at 270-2423; or the Atlantic Beach Public Works Department at 247-5834.