Restoring South Broward’s Beaches, from Hallandale Beach to John U. Lloyd State Park
In April of 2005, work began on restoring 6.2 miles of Broward County’s shoreline, from the Broward County line in Hallandale Beach to the John Lloyd State Recreation Area in Hollywood, just south of Port Everglades. The $23.8 million undertaking, known as the Broward County Segment III Shore Protection Project, involved the placement of approximately 1.7 million cubic yards of sand on South Broward’s eroded beaches. Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Dania Beach shoreline was impacted by the renourishment project, which was in the planning stages for a number of years. The beach was widened, depending on previous width, up to 200 feet. The entire project was scheduled to be completed by February of 2006. Work on the northern end of the project at John Lloyd State Park was not scheduled to begin until November of 2005 because of the sea turtle nesting season. Three structures were constructed at the northern end of the park to “lock-in” the sand along the southern shoreline. Barring unexpected weather or nautical conditions, the new beach should have a life span of at least ten years.
The project was the first beach restoration effort in Broward County in more than a decade. Great Lakes Dock and Dredge Company, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, was the prime contractor for the project. The company has restored more eroded recreational and commercial waterfronts in the United States than any other company in its field. The project was sponsored and administered by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, with funding from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Florida Department of Environmental Projection, Broward County and the municipalities Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Dania Beach.
When and How
Once beach restoration began in April, starting in Hallandale Beach and moving north, dredging and beach construction activities proceeded on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week, weather permitting. The sand for the restored beach was obtained from what is known as “borrow areas,” sections of the ocean floor off of the North Broward coast. The sand was extracted by a ship, called “hopper dredge,” which vacuumed the sand from the ocean floor and transported it to pumpout locations. The pumpout was a mooring offshore through which the dredge discharged sand to the beach through a submerged 30-inch diameter steel pipe. While a section of beach was being restored, a shore pipe was present along the beach. Pedestrian and emergency vehicular access ramps were provided over the shore pipe at 250-foot intervals and at all lifeguard stations. The shore pipe, which moved along with the project, could extend to approximately a mile in length.
While there was some noise and construction activities as sections of the beach were restored, every effort was being made to keep inconveniences to a minimum. Vibrations in the vicinity of construction was monitored and, as expected, were minimal and did not impact any structures. About 300 feet of beach were closed at any one time due to construction, but the closure areas moved along the beach quite rapidly as construction progressed. At most times during the dredging and discharge cycles, pedestrians were prevented from close observation at the beach discharge locations. Flag personnel directed beach users away from the discharge areas. Boaters, anglers and divers were directed away from ocean areas involved in the project, including the “borrow areas” off the North Broward coast.
After completion of Segment III in early 2006, the impact of the restored beach on marine resources was studied over a 36-month period. A report was then prepared for the Florida Department of Environment Protection, which will forward its recommendations to the Governor and the Cabinet. If approved, Segment II of the beach restoration plan can proceed, which involves the restoration of beaches in Fort Lauderdale and adjacent communities to the north. It is projected that this phase of beach restoration will begin in 2013.