Anna Maria Island beach renourishment to begin

skennedy@bradenton.comDecember 19, 2013 

MANATEE -- Replenishing Anna Maria Island will start late Thursday or early Friday, if all goes as planned.

Contractor Great Lakes Dredge & Dock of Oak Brook, Ill., will tow a dredge barge to the borrow area supplying the sand, said Michelle Pfeiffer, an engineer for Coastal Planning and Engineering Inc. of Boca Raton, Manatee County's engineering consulting firm.

The offshore borrow area is at the northern end of Anna Maria Island.

She estimates between 813,000 and 921,000 cubic yards of sand will be required for the $13 million project to restock local beaches.

Work on the project will start at Holmes Beach near 78th Street and continue south 4.7 miles to Bradenton Beach.

"Shore pipe and equipment will continue to be mobilized to Anna Maria Island throughout the week," Pfeiffer said in an email to county officials.

The impending start of the project will also include piping along the beach in some places.

The dredge barge "California" is expected to begin pumping sand by Friday, according to Amanda Ellison, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, contracting agent on the project.

Beachgoers will see pipeline along the beach in places and screening baskets, bulldozers and trucks near the discharge point, Ellison said Wednesday.

Watchmen will be stationed along construction zones to ensure public safety.

"The beach will be closed to the public at 1,000-foot intervals," she said. "This 1,000-foot zone will move as the beach fill progresses south."

Most beach areas will only be shut down for one or two days at most, she added.

The renourishment project is financed with federal, state and county monies.

Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.

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