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Now browsing: Hometown News > News > Martin County

Inlet maintenance dredging project to begin in early November
Rating: 3.35 / 5 (17 votes)  
Posted: 2013 Nov 01 - 06:51

For Hometown News

TREASURE COAST -- Maintenance dredging of the St. Lucie Inlet will begin in early November and will continue through the end of February 2014.

Equipment to be used in the four-month long project, such as vessels and barges, will begin arriving in the area in the coming days.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded the dredging contract to Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting. The ACOE contract calls for up to 200,000 cubic yards of sand to be dredged and bypassed to the beaches down drift of the Inlet. Martin County has funded an additional amount of up to 250,000 cubic yards sand to be dredged during this project.

The Inlet's impoundment basin was last dredged in 2012. It is designed to accommodate a 3-4 year maintenance dredging interval and has performed well safeguarding navigation; however an active storm season in 2012 accelerated filling of the impoundment basin.

Current surveys indicate that the impoundment basin has exceeded 50 percent of its capacity due to last year's storms which included Hurricane Sandy. The upcoming project is timed to maintain continuous safe navigation through the inlet.

The dredged sand will be transported via tug and barge through St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park. Sand will be offloaded at Peck Lake where it will be pumped via pipeline to beaches in Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. Environmental restrictions limit these maintenance activities to a Nov. 1- March 1 construction window.

The St. Lucie Inlet is a manmade federal inlet that is Martin County's only point of access to the Atlantic Ocean. It separates the barrier islands of Hutchinson Island to the north and Jupiter Island to the south. The Inlet connects the Atlantic Ocean to several waterways, including the Indian River Lagoon, the St. Lucie River, the Hobe Sound Narrows and the Intracoastal Waterway.

A safe, navigable Inlet is critically important to our community because it provides access between inland waterways, centers of commerce and private and commercial docks and the Atlantic Ocean.

To learn more about this dredging project and the St. Lucie Inlet, visit www.martin.fl.us.

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