SAVANNAH, Ga. - Tybee Island will gain greater protection against storms from additional sand reinforcing the beach there. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District awarded a $10 million contract Monday for the next shoreline protection project at this coastal Georgia community. Shoreline protection is also known as beach renourishment.
The City of Tybee Island and the Corps of Engineers jointly sponsor the project. The Corps will oversee the construction. The federal government funds approximately 61 percent of the cost while the city funds the rest. This is the first beach renourishment since 2008 at the ocean-front community.
The mayor of Tybee Island, Jason Buelterman, pointed out the years of work people from the city and the Corps of Engineers put in to make the project happen. "This extremely important project is the culmination of several years worth of hard work on the part of the Corps' Savannah District, the City of Tybee and our volunteer Tybee Beach Task Force," Buelterman said.
"We will pull beach-quality sand from about a mile off shore," said Spencer Davis, the Corps' manager for this project. "We will pump the sand through a submerged steel pipeline to the shore where workers will use large construction equipment to place and smooth the sand." Approximately 1.3 million cubic yards of sand will be added to approximately 3 miles of beach front from the north beach near Old Fort Screven to 18th Street, south of the public fishing pier. The project includes a small portion along Tybee Creek, known locally as the Back River.
Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of Oak Brook, Illinois, with expertise in this type of work, earned the contract. Work can begin as early as Oct. 15 and will take approximately four months to complete.
As with similar past projects, sections of the beach will be closed to the public while workers operate in those locations. As workers move to another section of beach, the newly renourished portions of the beach will reopen.
Adding sand to the shoreline helps protect the community from waves generated by passing storms. They have a secondary benefit of enhancing public beaches.