Repair to beaches damaged by Tropical Storm Irma in the northern part of Sea Pines is expected to start within days, though it likely won’t cost the town more money, according to a Hilton Head official.
Scott Liggett, town director of public projects and chief engineer, said Wednesday that $7.75 million was set aside for the ongoing South Island Emergency Beach Fill project, but the actual cost of the project is expected to be $3.8 million. Because of that, he said, the extended project to repair Irma-related damage on beaches in northern Sea Pines will likely not require additional funding.
“The direction of (Town) Council was to advance the project to the north, working from the original budget,” Liggett said, noting the extended project is expected to cost $2.8 million — bringing the total cost of both projects to $6.6 million of the $7.75 million budget.
The extended project would add approximately 175,000 cubic yards of sand along about a mile of shoreline, Liggett said, adding the entire project will bring about 600,000 cubic yards of sand along a distance of approximately three miles. The total amount of sand includes 75,000 cubic yards needed to replace sand lost in Irma to the area already being renourished, he said.
Liggett said post-Irma beach surveys have been completed islandwide, but because of “quality control issues” that need to be corrected, the town does not yet know how much total sand was lost in the Sept. 11 storm.
Within the week, Liggett expects work to be completed on the original scope of the South Island Beach Fill project, which has been delayed by about three weeks. The contractor will then immediately begin work on the extended portion directly north, he said.
“We have lost a significant amount of time just due to the passage of these fronts and heavy seas,” Liggett said. “At the (offshore) borrow site, the issue has been the wave height.”
Liggett said the target completion date of the extended project is before Thanksgiving, which falls on Nov. 23.
The extended project will replace sand and dune losses that occurred as a result of Hurricane Matthew last year, and in areas further degraded by Irma, between beach markers 32 and 54, according to a previous town release. The extended project will include areas never renourished before, Liggett said previously.
The beaches hit hardest by Irma were already part of the beach fill project, Liggett said.