Foul weather again disappoints, slows beach builders

Cold, windy, choppy conditions sometimes disappoint boaters and beachgoers in the winter months.

In a bit of an understatement, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker said weather was slowing the beach renourishment project.

Avoiding the strong northerly winds of Jan. 6-7, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock moved its dredge, barge and other equipment to safe harbor in Tampa Bay near Fort De Soto Park in Pinellas County.

In addition to high winds Jan. 6-7, the daytime high Jan. 7 was 52 degrees on Anna Maria Island, according to the National Weather Service in Ruskin. Weather conditions included winds out of the north at 10-20 mph, and seas were forecast to be 4-6 feet.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Lauren Reichold said she was informed by GLDD engineers that when waves reach 5 feet or higher, the dredge and barge are moved to a safe port. High winds and seas can damage the equipment, she said.

Reichold had said when the renourishment began Dec. 20 that GLDD would average 1,000 feet of sand per day with good weather. The project is planned to culminate at Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach by mid-to-late February, barring more weather delays.

The beach renourishment operation resumed Jan. 8 near 65th Street, with GLDD working southward along the shoreline.




Beachwalkers near the Martinique condominium-52nd Street beach access Jan. 9 are diverted around the Great Lakes activity on the shoreline to walkovers that allow access to the water over the pipes.


The pipeline brings sand ashore in a super-size sifter before being spread on the beach. Islander Photos: Rick Catlin


Some beach renourishment activity took place near 66th Street in Holmes Beach Jan. 7, despite high winds, rough surf and cold temperatures.


The barge, dredge and some equipment belonging to Great Lakes Dredge and Dock were moved to the lee side of Fort De Soto Park to avoid northerly winds and high seas Jan. 6-7.


A few beachwalkers on the beach Jan. 7 pass along the pipeline that brings dredged sand ashore near 66th Street in Holmes Beach.

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