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Renourishment phase 1 end in sight

By Rick Catlin, Islander Reporter

Bystanders observe renourishment pumping operations Feb. 21, as Great Lakes Dredge and Dock reaches the beach in front of Gulf Drive Cafe and Tiki Bar in the 900 block of Gulf Drive North. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin

More than just visitors are pleased with the balmy weather on Anna Maria Island the past two weeks.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, the contractor for beach renourishment, appreciates the calm seas that allow them to move rapidly south, pumping and smoothing sand along the island’s shore.

The company renourished from 17th Street North in Bradenton Beach to Ninth Street North Feb. 17-21.

If the weather holds, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson Sirisha Rayaprolu said GLDD should finish its renourishment project at 13th Street South late this month or in early March.

Once that work is finished, GLDD will take a few days to reposition its equipment and begin renourishment of Coquina Beach at a cost to Manatee County of $5.67 million. The state will reimburse the county for about half of the cost, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker said.

Hunsicker expects Coquina Beach renourishment to take about 30 days, depending upon the weather.

“We hope to finish in late March or early April,” he said.

Renourishment of the beach from 79th Street to 13th Street South was funded by $13 million in federal, state and county money.

Manatee County will use funds from the resort tax to pay for Coquina Beach renourishment.

The resort tax is the 5 percent paid on rentals in the county of six months or less.

Islandwide beach renourishment takes place every 8-10 years.

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