Beach renourishment rescheduled for late December in St. Augustine

Engineers dredge sand from inlet to replenish beaches after hurricanes

By Jonathan Stacey - Meteorologist

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Crews are just days away from the start of the beach renourishment process along St. Johns County's eroding shores. The project was pushed back from December 15 due to high seas. News4Jax uncovered how engineers plan to bring millions of grains of sand back to the hurricane-battered coast.

“I love the beach," said Kelly Williams, a local beachgoer.  But Williams realizes that the beauty of the beach is a far cry from what it used to be.

“All of the rocks are gone, that’s the main reason why I come here. You see a lot of the sea life. You’re able to play with the kids there and stuff," said Williams.

Not only are the rocks a few and far between, the winds from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma eroded many of the sand dunes. But sand will soon return when engineers bring sand from the St. Augustine Inlet to the beaches of the city. 

Dredging will start the week before Christmas and then in the following weeks crews will push the sand through a pipeline to the shoreline. Eventually bulldozers will spread 800,000 cubit yards of fresh sand along the beach through April.St. Johns County is joining forces with the U.S. Army Corps to renourish the beach for a fourth time since the early 2000s. 

The renourishment project will cover an almost four-mile stretch of from the south end of Anastasia State Park to Pope Road to the St. Augustine Pier to Ninth Street in St. Augustine. The project is expected to cost $9.5 million. The corps says 80% of the project will be paid for with federal tax dollars.

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