U.S. Army Corps contractors in Long Beach will be working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to complete a sand dredging and dune construction project on the beach.
Long Beach City Council members unanimously approved a noise variance Tuesday to allow round-the-clock work starting at New York Avenue.
Crews with Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Co. began dredging July 14 at New York Avenue and started 24-hour work this week on a sand-replenishment project.
The work is part of a federally funded $230 million shoreline protection project by the Army Corps to extend the beach by 300 feet and create a dune to be level with the boardwalk. The dune will include sea grass and have walkovers from the boardwalk to the back of the beach.
The project extends to Point Lookout and Lido Beach, but workers had to start work in Long Beach first to not interfere with protected piping plover habitat and nesting season.
Officials with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock said the work needed to be undertaken 24 hours per day to finish work by October. Contractors said the work would take twice as long without the noise variance and could extend through next summer if they didn’t finish work by the fall.
Crews said they will be working 200 feet off the boardwalk at night up to the water’s edge.
“With hurricane season coming, I can’t in good conscience tell people we could have protected you, but didn’t because we only did work during the day,” Councilman John Bendo said.
Workers plan to pump sand for 20 days from a dredge about one mile offshore at New York Avenue through Aug. 3. The project is set to move east from Long Beach Boulevard to Magnolia Boulevard from Aug. 4 to Aug. 18.
Contractors plan to move the work west from Aug. 19 to Sept. 7, from Magnolia to Grand Boulevards. Then they will work off Lincoln Boulevard through Sept 18, before finishing between Lincoln and Long Beach boulevards by Oct. 13.
Work is expected to close about 1,000 feet of beach during each work period. The total project covers six miles of beach on the barrier island, including about three miles in Long Beach.