TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – The beach on Tybee Island is in line for a historic face-lift.
Mayor Jason Buelterman says for the first time, beach renourishment work and fortification of the sand dune wall will happen at the same time. In the past, each project occurred separately.
“For the first time since Tybee and the federal government started working on replenishing the beach with sand from offshore, they will not only be building the beach itself, but they’ll be building up the dunes in areas where there are gaps in our dune system,” Buelterman said.
This is the first beach renourishment work since 2014, but getting to this point in a new effort was not smooth sailing.
“We ran into a big obstacle not too long ago,” the mayor said. “We had to expand the borrow site, the area where the sand is taken from the ocean floor and that required state action because the state actually owns that, a certain number of miles out, and we were having a hard time with that, and we were able to get that through and the governor really helped push that forward.”
The price tag for the face-lift to Tybee’s beach and the completion of the dune wall is approximately $16 million, according to Buelterman, who adds that there is no wiggle room in the federal budgets for any overage.
As for the bidding process for the dredge to pump offshore sand onto Tybee’s beach, Buelterman says it’s highly sought-after equipment.
“There’s a lot of competition for dredges, so we’re very anxious about the bid opening, which we expect will happen in mid-August,” he said, adding if there are no unforeseen issues, the work should begin in November and should wrap up in 30 – 60 days.