En­gi­neer presents six-step process to help sand flow onto Mid­town Beach.

Palm Beach Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By MATT MOR­GAN

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.

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