Crews eye start of beach renourishment

Taggart Houck/WPDE

Construction to renourish Grand Strand beaches is almost here.

Dredging equipment and pipes are now near Sixth Avenue South in Surfside Beach. This week, crews will start pumping that sand, replenishing the beaches damaged from the Grand Strand's previous two hurricanes.

Several beach goers were concerned about the temporary closures -- especially those on vacation, like Gloria Ciorra from Frederick, Md.

She and her family are staying in a condo off the beach. Right now, the view from her oceanfront room is blocked by construction equipment, like bulldozers. She's upset temporary beach closures -- starting with the section in front of her condo room will interfere with vacation.

"We pay to have our umbrella and then now we've gotta carry it to another area just to go back on the beach, that's really an inconvenience," she said. "But like I said, we do know it has to be done."

That understanding seemed to be shared across the beach.

Adam Propst is vacationing with his family for the week from Danville, VA. He didn't know about renourishment before he made his way to Surfside Beach.

"(It was) kind of unusual to walk up and see a platform offshore," he said.

Propst questioned the timing of the project -- during a busy tourist season.

"It's kind of a disruption. If it could be another time of the year that would be awesome. If it's something that needs to be done, it needs to be done," he said.

There are three phases to this process -- Reach One, Reach Two, and Reach Three.

In reach Three, crews will work from Surfside Beach to Myrtle Beach State Park. That project is first and is expected to last about 60 days.

Reach One is next. Officials said it will start in mid-September and end around the middle of November. That phase will re-nourish beaches in North Myrtle Beach.

The project is expected to cost more than $26 million.

Reach Two will happen in Myrtle Beach, but there is no official timeline for that project at this time.

Officials said sections for re-nourishment -- roughly 1,000 square feet at a time -- will get attention for 2-3 days at most. Crews will dump more than one million cubic yards of sand on the beach.

If you want to know exactly which sections of beaches are closed in "real-time", the Army Corps of Engineers released an interactive map, detailing project status. For a look at a real time tracking map, where those temporary closures will take place, click here.

No word yet on an exact start date for Reach One.

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