Beach restoration on go for August

In a bit of returning to the future, crews should begin mobilizing for a beach restoration project on St. Joseph Peninsula.

The long-awaited project was nearly at this identical point last September, as crews from Manson Construction were mobilizing to begin the project.

In the first week of October, we printed the headline, “Restoration to begin Monday.”

Well, as we all know now that headline ranks up with “Dewey Defeats Truman.”

A tropical depression picked up energy, gathered a name, Michael, and was roaring toward the Gulf Coast by that Monday.

Manson demobilized for safer harbors and by that Wednesday Hurricane Michael was battering the area.

But, beginning the first two weeks of August, more than three years since the county began down this path, Manson will try its part again and hope for better luck from Mother Nature.

“The beach restoration is on go and they will be mobilizing the first or second week of August,” said Assistant County Administrator Warren Yeager Tuesday. “They should be pumping sand by the end of August and they should be completed in the following 45 to 60 days.”

The sand will be pumped first near the Stump Hole rock revetment and the work move north to Billy Joe Rish Park before hopping to Eagle Harbor in T.H. Stone St. Joseph Peninsula State Park.

The goal for the FDEP is to completely fill the gap to allow for the construction of an access road which would ultimately lead to the re-opening of the rest of the park infrastructure, particularly campgrounds and hiking/nature trails.

Prior to Michael, the peninsula state park was one of the most-visited and profitable in Florida.

Yeager added that a meeting Wednesday could spur the funding and work for sand berms the county would like to construct along several coastlines.