The village shoreline will get a much-needed boost of sand as part of a beach renourishment project that starts next week.
BY RODOLFO R. ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
Bal Harbour’s beach renourishment project is about to get under way.
The project, which could last about three months, will start after Memorial Day.
Approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sand will be placed at the northern end of Bal Harbour, according to Brian Flynn, a representative for the county’s Department of Environmental Resource Management.
Buffering the beach is essential because natural erosion, along with several active hurricane seasons, has shrunk Bal Harbour’s beach to small dunes, leaving residents and tourists with little space to enjoy the ocean.
Mayor Jean Rosenfield said she is glad the project is moving forward.
”The council is excited we were able to able to help the residents at the north end of Bal Harbor beach who desperately need their beach,” Rosenfield said in a phone interview.
The sand will be trucked in from Orlando to add height and width to beaches in Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles Beach and Miami Beach. State and county funds will be used for the truck-haul renourishment project, which could cost about $10 million. Marina Blanco-Pape, DERM’s chief of Water Management Division, says trucks will be driving through Bal Harbour, but streets will not be closed.
”Two articulated trucks are planned for the beach,” Blanco-Pape wrote in an e-mail. “Approximately 10 trucks are anticipated to be needed to bring the sand in through the access area in 96th Street.”
Workers with flags will be directing the trucks and maintaining clear areas around the work place. Bal Harbour police will also be helping out to ensure safety.
Two contractors hired by the county will be working on the project Mondays through Thursdays during daylight hours.
Despite the project, beachgoers should still be able to enjoy the beach.
”The beach will remain open during the project, except for the actual area where the machines are working each day, which will be roped off,” said Alfred Treppeda, village manager.
Treppeda also said building managers near the beach have been asked to move their beach chairs off the sand during the project, so the path is clear.
The issue has also caught the eye of Congress: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen recently took a tour of the beach, meeting with residents and pledging to fight for funds allocated to the Army Corps of Engineers for beach renourishment, which could be used for future projects.
This project will ”serve as a Band-Aid” until a more aggressive beach renourishment project scheduled to begin in 2011, Flynn said.