US: high winds slow Anna Maria beach renourishment projectProject Updates // January 8, 2014
The Anna Maria Island reports that Great Lakes Dredge and Dock resumed the Anna Maria Island beach renourishment project on December 30th after a strong west wind December 26-29 forced the company to move its barge and pumping station from the Gulf of Mexico to calmer waters in Tampa Bay, halting beach renourishment efforts.
Having resumed operations on 30 December a cold front on 2 January again brought a strong west wind and 5-6ft choppy surf, halting operations. The company did some work on 1 January1.
Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources director Charlie Hunsicker said that although the project was expected to go 24/7 from the start, weather is the deciding factor for Great Lakes to halt its operations.
Strong westerly winds and high waves would do more harm to the project than good, Hunsicker said. Those conditions could easily disrupt dredging and separate the pipes bringing sand to the beach.
Great Lakes currently is nourishing the beach from its starting point at the 60th Street beach access northward to the 72nd Street beach access. The company will pump and smooth sand up to 79th Street, then begin work south of the 60th Street access.
The Islander said that, under its contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Great Lakes is supposed to finish the project, builiding the beach southward to Coquina Beach, within 60 days of its December 20 start.