Manatee County official 'optimistic' about beach renourishment talks

Beach renourishment equipment busy

skennedy@bradenton.comFebruary 10, 2014 

BRADENTON BEACH -- An agreement with a dredging company to continue beach renourishment along Coquina Beach rather than depart for another project was near Monday, a county official said.

"I'm optimistic we will have a complete contract ready for the commission to sign," said Charlie Hunsicker, county director of Parks and Natural Resources.

The matter is slated for review by county commissioners at a 9 a.m. meeting Tuesday.

Discussions about a starting and end date for a related beach renourishment project, to be funded by the county and state, continued late Monday, Hunsicker said.

Officials sought a contractual agreement with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. of Oak Brook, Ill., which would retain its services along a 2-mile stretch of Coquina Beach once the company finishes its project at Bradenton Beach.

"It's important to keep the timing and momentum going," said Hunsicker.

After a pause last week, the federally funded portion of the Anna Maria Island beach renourishment

project proceeded full speed ahead Monday.

Heavy equipment was busy at 23rd Street North and Gulf Drive North, with earthmovers smoothing the sand and bulldozers putting pipeline down.

Company official Bill Hanson noted the work his firm was doing was under contract for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

"Pretty impressive, isn't it?" Hanson asked.

Hanson would not commit to the Coquina Beach work.

"Sorry, but best for me to leave the status of other work for Manatee County to them to respond to," he said.

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

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