2016 Beach Renourishment Project
The Town of Hilton Head Island has long recognized that its beaches are a vital asset to its residents and the Island's economy. In an effort to maintain the Island's beaches in the best possible condition, the Town utilizes beach restoration as part of its long-term strategy. In early 2016, work is expected to start on the Town's next beach restoration project. Town Council plans to fund this project, primarily by tourism via the local Beach Preservation Fee.
The 2016 beach renourishment of the Atlantic oceanfront shoreline is expected to be similar to the projects constructed in 1990, 1997 and 2006. Also, the Town plans to include sand placement along localized portions of previously restored shoreline in Port Royal Plantation and the area just north of Fish Haul Creek on Port Royal Sound.
The planned 2016 renourishment project will include four principal parts:
- Placement of about 1.3 million cubic yards of sand along 5.5 miles of Atlantic Ocean shorefront from just South of Coligny Circle to The Folly tidal inlet at Singleton Beach,
- Placement of about 0.5 million cubic yards of sand along 7,000 feet of the Atlantic Ocean and Port Royal Sound shorelines in northern Port Royal Plantation,
- Placement of about 0.3 million cubic yards of sand along 5,000 feet of Atlantic Shorefront in southern Sea Pines near South Beach, and
- Placement of up to 60,000 cubic yards of sand along 2,400 feet of the Port Royal Sound shoreline north of Fish Haul Creek in the vicinity of the Fish Haul Park, Mitchelville Beach Park and The Spa of Port Royal.
As with previous projects, the nourishment sand will be excavated by hydraulic dredge from two offshore shoal features. Up to 50,000 feet of pipeline will be trucked or floated to the island by way of large rafts, then moved onto the beach. The 30-inch diameter pipeline will be piled in stacks along the shoreline until needed during construction. During construction, the Contractor will submerge many miles of pipeline on the ocean floor between the offshore borrow sites and the beach.
The rest of the pipeline will be laid progressively along the newly constructed beach as the fill sand is pumped on shore. The dredge will pump a mixture of sand and seawater through the pipeline, and will discharge it onto the beach. There, it will flow parallel to the shoreline - allowing the sand to settle out and the water to return to the sea. Bulldozers and other heavy construction machinery will constantly shape the sand to meet the design specifications.
The entire project construction is expected to last approximately 4 to 5 months. Because the project is extremely large, construction operations will proceed around the clock. On average, the filling process should move along the shoreline at a rate of about 200 to 300 feet per day. Because the active work area may spread out at least 1,000 feet or more along the beach, several days of work activity will occur seaward of any one piece of oceanfront property. Although the only noise typifying the construction process is that of the bulldozers shaping the sand as it is deposited, adjacent property owners, or renters, may experience short-term minor inconveniences. The construction activity effect to any one location on the island generally lasts for three or four days at a time as the renourishment operation moves past each property within the project limits.
Similarly, as the fill placement progresses, thousand-foot sections of the beach are closed temporarily to pedestrian access. Once placed and rough-graded, however, the new beach is immediately reopened to the public.
The benefits of preserving the Island's beaches are numerous. The beaches of Hilton Head Island are not only an asset to all facets of the island's environment and economy, but also to the general ambiance and way of life for the thousands of individuals who have elected to reside here - and the many more who visit.
If you have questions regarding the 2016 Beach Renourishment Project please contact Scott Liggett, Director of Public Projects & Facilities at 843-341-4776.