Manatee reaches deal for new sand on Coquina Beach

skennedy@bradenton.comFebruary 11, 2014 

MANATEE -- County officials signed a $5.7 million contract late Monday with a dredging company to continue beach renourishment along Coquina Beach rather than allowing the company to depart for another project, they announced Tuesday.

County Administrator Ed Hunzeker announced during the Manatee County Commission meeting that a draft contract agreement had been reached and would be reviewed Tuesday by commissioners.

Discussions about a starting and end date for the beach renourishment project, to be funded by the county and state, were among the final issues settled in talks late Monday, according to Charlie Hunsicker, the county's director of parks and natural resources.

Officials need a contractual agreement with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corp. of Oak Brook, Ill., in order to have the company continue its beach renourishment work along a 2-mile stretch of Coquina Beach, once the company finishes an ongoing project through Bradenton Beach.

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

After a pause last week, the federally-funded portion of the Anna Maria Island beach renourishment project proceeded at 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.

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

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