Crews are setting up equipment and prepping to start the much-needed beach renourishment project at the end of this week in Surfside Beach, with plans for the work to begin on the beach by Ocean Lakes in early August.
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., the contractor on the $26.3 million beach renourishment project, is busy getting equipment in place at Sixth Avenue North in Surfside Beach. Crews plan to start pumping sand there at the end of this week, then work up the beach towards Ocean Lakes Family Campground.
Barring bad weather or mechanical delays, the work will begin on the beach by Ocean Lakes two weeks after it starts in Surfside Beach, Ed O’Dowd, Site Manager with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., said Monday. That means the work by Ocean Lakes is likely to start around Aug. 4, as long as the weather and equipment cooperate and there are no other unforeseen issues.
Crews plan to work quickly, finishing about 500 feet a day. They will close 1,000-foot sections and block off that area using plastic orange fencing. The beach by Ocean Lakes stretches nearly 5,000 feet so most of the beach by the campground will be available for beach-goers at any time during the renourishment work.
The timing of the work during the busy tourist season was set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was beyond Ocean Lakes’ control. The work is needed to rebuild the beach and dunes, which were wiped out by Hurricane Matthew in the fall.
“Beginning the construction project now enables the major, long-term benefits of protecting people and property from storm damage to be realized as soon as possible and before peak hurricane season,” said Glenn Jeffries, spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Charleston.
Beach-goers can track the progress to see where the work is taking place each day. Crews plan to work 24-hours a day, seven days a week to finish the project as quickly as possible. It is expected to take about 25 or 35 days to complete the leg of the renourishment project from Surfside Beach Pier north to Myrtle Beach State Park (the section of work that includes Ocean Lakes).
|Set up of the beach renourishment equipment continued Monday at Sixth Avenue North in Surfside Beach.|
Some key points to remember:
BEACH ACCESS | Most of the beach by Ocean Lakes will be open and available at any point during the beach renourishment.
Crews will work in 1,000-foot sections that will be blocked off for about two or three days using plastic orange fencing. The beach by Ocean Lakes stretches nearly 5,000 feet, so there will be plenty of beach available while crews are working.
Beach-goers may find their favorite spot on the beach being worked on and unavailable, but they will be able to move farther down the beach where crews are not working.
NOISE | Crews plan to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There will be noise from the bulldozers, front-end loaders and other equipment, including the back-up alarms that are required by federal law and cannot be shut off.
“We are pushing sand all the time,” O’Dowd said. “We will try to get by them as fast as possible.”
Crews plan to complete each 1,000-foot section in two to three days.
SAFETY | Please use caution and stay out of the work area. There will be pipes outside of the work area, but the contractor will put sand ramps over them so they can be crossed safely.
NEED | The renourishment work is crucial to rebuild the beach and dunes, which help protect the area from storms. Hurricane Matthew in October wiped out our dunes and battered our beaches.
|The beach by Ocean Lakes Family Campground the day after Hurricane Matthew hit in October.|
The last renourishment by Ocean Lakes was in 2008.
Once the beach from Surfside Beach to Myrtle Beach State Park is complete, crews will renourish the area south of the Surfside Beach Pier to Georgetown County and then in North Myrtle Beach.
This project will place about 1.2 million cubic yards of material on area beaches.
SHELLS | Beach-goers are likely to find lots of shells after the work.
"Shells should be cool and abundant due to the project, and it is cool to see if someone hasn't seen this type of work before," Jeffries said.
STAY UPDATED | Use the real-time online map from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to track the project and see where the crews are working.
We'll also continue to update guests through our blog, social media and website.