Port-sponsored, federally-funded project will span five months and move more than 1.3 million cubic yards of sand to restore beaches from Jetty Park to south of Cocoa Beach Pier
Port Canaveral, FL – December 4, 2018 – The largest sand bypass project in the Port Canaveral area in more than two decades will get underway this week. The five-month effort will move approximately 1.34 million cubic yards of sand to replenish 3.5 miles of beach south of Port Canaveral. The Canaveral Harbor Federal Sand Bypass Project (Phase V) will pump sand taken from the shoreline north of Port Canaveral along Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to beaches south of the Canaveral Inlet, from Jetty Park to a half-mile south of the Cocoa Beach Pier. Locally sponsored by the Canaveral Port Authority, the $18 million federally-authorized project is scheduled to begin this week and last through late April 2019.
The project is fully funded and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with additional funding provided by the Canaveral Port Authority and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing and Brevard County are providing logistical support.
“Port Canaveral is an environmental steward of our land and waters. Our businesses, as well as the well-being of nearby residential communities depend on the responsible use and protection of our land and waters,” Port CEO Capt. John Murray stated. “The Sand Bypass project is critically important to preserving this coastal region, and we are grateful to our federal partners for their support and commitment to our area.”
Last week, the derrick barge Atlantic from construction contractor Norfolk Dredging Company of Chesapeake, Va., began excavating a trench across the Port Canaveral entrance channel for a temporary pipeline to transport the sand. The 24-inch-wide pipeline was placed just below the authorized depth of the inlet channel to not impact or interfere with vessels entering and exiting the Port.
The dredge Charleston will pump a mixture of sand and seawater through the pipe, across the inlet and onto the beach. Sand placement will begin about a quarter-mile south of the inlet, proceed north to Jetty Park, then move south along beaches in Cape Canaveral to north Cocoa Beach. The sand placement initially will widen most of the shoreline by about 150 feet. As the dredged sand naturally moves southward, beaches will maintain their pre-inlet dimensions.
Beach fill work is expected to progress from the Canaveral Inlet to the south at up to 150 feet a day. Public access to sections of beach within approximately 1,000 feet of the daily construction activity will be restricted for about three to four days as the work continues.
The sand placement will initially widen beaches by about 150 feet, after which the sand will drift southward, maintaining Brevard’s beaches at their historic dimensions. The man-made Canaveral Harbor Inlet interrupted the southerly drift of sand along the Atlantic shoreline, allowing sand north of the inlet to build while sand along beaches to the south eroded. The Sand Bypass project began in 1995 after the Port’s north jetty was lengthened to keep sand from drifting into the harbor entrance. This Phase V Sand Bypass project will move the largest volume of sand. Previous projects in 1995, 1998, 2007 and 2010 pumped an approximate combined 3.4 million cubic yards of sand onto nearby beaches.
The Army Corps awarded Norfolk Dredging the approximate $18-million contract for the project in September. Work was deliberately scheduled to take place between late November through April to avoid sea turtle nesting season.
Olsen Associates Inc., a Jacksonville-based coastal engineering firm has been contracted by the Port to provide consulting services for the project. Progress updates on the project will be posted on the Port’s website weekly along with maps depicting current beach fill locations and construction schedule updates.