Engineer presents six-step process to help sand flow onto Midtown Beach.
The town thinks it might have the solution to the chronic sand erosion problems in Midtown from The Breakers south to the Municipal Beach.
Mike Jenkins, an engineer with Applied Technology and Management, presented a six-step process to the Shore Protection Board on Friday that would add groins in places and would improve or extend some existing structures.
“There’s no easy answer here,” Jenkins said. “This is going to revolve around complex, very focused actions to help make the area improve.”
But the complicated construction likely will not happen until late 2018 at the earliest. Both Jenkins and members of staff called the timeline “aggressive”
to complete final designs and then to clear all federal, state and local hurdles in time to start construction right at the end of turtle nesting season next November.
The groins would help sand flow past both the north and south walls of the Lauder family property to fill in the beach. The plan calls for adding a groin or similar structure to the south Clarke Avenue boundary and for fixing and modifying the groin fields at The Breakers and Midtown Beach.
The good news is that The Breakers and the Surfrider Foundation, among other groups, are on board — at least for now.
What Jenkins presented was just a concept of how to improve the erosion problems. The specific design work is far from complete, he said.
But once it is, Breakers President Paul Leone said his team of engineers will have to research and scrutinize every detail. But so far so good.
“I really feel like a tremendous amount of progress has been made,” Leone told the Shore Protection Board.
The board voted 7-0 to recommend these improvements to the Town Council, which will be next to see the proposal.
If all goes well, the work could be finished as soon as 2019.
The staff also gave an update of the state of the beaches post-Hurricane Irma and reported mixed results. Some areas like Sloan’s Curve and South End fared better than a few places in Midtown, Coastal Coordinator Rob Weber said.
The recent king tides have pushed the water almost to the seawall in parts of town.