Estero Island Beach nourishment, hurricane recovery project has begun

The Estero Island Beach Nourishment and Hurricane Recovery Project commenced on July 8. The project will dredge approximately 950,000 cubic yards of sand from a nearshore borrow area in the Gulf of Mexico onto Fort Myers Beach. Construction will begin on North Estero Island near Bowditch Park, which will serve as the first staging area for equipment to access the beach. Ahtna Marine Construction Corporation is currently transporting and assembling dredge pipe along the permitted pipeline corridor from the nearshore borrow area in the Matanzas Pass ebb shoal to the beach at FDEP Range Monument 178 near 500 Estero Blvd.

Beach operations including transporting equipment and laying pipe along the beach are planned to commence on July 15. Dredge pipe will first be laid from the borrow area through the corridor onto the beach and then North towards Bowditch Park. Once set, Ahtna will construct the beach North to South from 100 to 500 Estero Blvd. Then the dredge pipe will be redirected south continuing to construct the engineered beach from north to south. Environmental precautions are being implemented to monitor shorebirds and sea turtle nesting by FWC approved monitors as well as to monitor turbidity once pumping begins. Construction is expected take 6 months.