Naples is getting ready to begin another smaller beach renourishment project along Gulf Shore Boulevard North on November 1st, 2014. More than 300 trucks a day will haul sand from an inland sand mine near Immokalee to the beaches in Park Shore and Moorings to patch sections that were washed away in June 2012 by Tropical Storm Debby.
This small-scale beach renourishment project marks a shift in thinking for the city that traditionally undertook large-scale projects to preserve the sandy shorelines. The intent is to minimize impact on residents and to avoid large-scale costs. Another change in our coastline preservation is this truck-hauling method. In the past, the beach has been repaired and replenished using an offshore hydraulic dredge. Dredging in Collier County is not currently a viable option due to not only a shortage of dredges because of other erosion-related work in Louisiana and the Northeast, but also is cost-prohibitive because Collier's offshore borrow area is far from the coast.
The project is slated to run from November 1st through Thanksgiving and will transport 52,000 cubic yards of sand. Although the start of Naples' busiest season coincides with this renourishment, the timing was set taking into account sea turtle nesting season in Florida runs from April through October. The timing also takes into consideration the $2.5 million project will be funded primarily by a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant for damage from Tropical Story Debby, which is a time-sensitive grant.
The path of the truck hauls will take Corkscrew Road from Immokalee, with a detour along the less residential Alico Rd to I-75. The trucks will take Pine Ridge Rd from I-75, head south on US-41, and then west on Park Shore Drive all the way to Gulf Shore Boulevard North. The beaches along Gulf Shore Boulevard North that run between Doctor's Pass and Park Shore Drive will be the target for this project. Over the next six years, Collier officials expect to perform similarly-sized renourishment projects to patch up certain sections of the coastline.