By Anthony Richards
St. Johns County Coastal Manager Damon Douglas was the guest speaker at the Oct. 25 Beaches Coalition meeting and talked about the dune enhancement project scheduled to begin Nov. 1.
“Whether you’re a beach goer or not, this is going to effect all of us in some way, whether that be with traffic or beach closures,” said Vicki Corlazzoli, with the Coalition.
The FEMA dune project includes 8.9 miles of coastline in Ponte Vedra, 1.7 miles in South Ponte Vedra and 0.7 of a mile in Crescent Beach.
Although the sand, hauled from a mine in Keystone Heights, is different than that from the ocean, Douglas expressed that it is still quality sand approved by DOT.
According to Douglas, the contractor will spread out the trucks hauling sand to limit the amount of increased traffic.
“We’re cognizant of people’s views,” Douglas said.
Part of the route will include trucks travelling over Palm Valley Bridge and staging at Cornerstone Park prior to being sent to the beach.
Ponte Vedra Boulevard and Mickler Road will be used to transfer the sand to the beach.
Sand will be placed between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday with about 30 trucks attempting four trips a day.
“We do not take it lightly, having to close Mickler’s,” Douglas said. “Work areas will consist of about 1,000 to 2,000 feet of beach at a time, which will be closed to the public during the project.”
He reiterated that Mickler’s Landing will be partially opened Saturdays and Sundays with limited parking available.
Additional info pertaining to the FEMA dune project can be found at www.sjcfl.us/coastalprojects/FEMAdunes.aspx. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 904-209-0260.
Separate from the FEMA dune project is a Ponte Vedra Beach renourishment project, which will extend from the Duval County line to Guana River State Park.
“We’ve got the permits and are moving forward with the process of finding funding,” Douglas said.
One of the next steps is also to have the Army Corps of Engineers conduct a feasibility study, which Douglas said could recommend a five-year beach restoration project.