TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) – Tybee Island’s officials say the city is preparing for future storms with their 14 million dollar “Beach Re-nourishment Project.” The deadline for the major project is April 30th, in order to be finished before Sea Turtle nesting season.
Tybee Island’s city manager said the “Re-nourishment Project” will be “vital” to helping the city stay safe in the event of a hurricane, but some of the locals are concerned about how the city’s plans will impact their property value and beach access.
The city recently completed the dredging portion of the project–hauling in loads of sand from a “borrow site” to rebuild the beach. Right now they are moving the sand to shape six to eight foot dunes, a process that is sparking concerns from locals who say they are worried they will lose access to the beach and their property’s views. The city’s manager said the crews are trying to make the slope “as gentle as possible,” and plan to ensure people have the same options for beach access by building crossover ramps.
City Manager Shawn Gillen said the impact of the project could be significant as we head into the potential threats of hurricane season.
“We’re talking about is protecting against a storm, and we didn’t have a storm for a very long time and all of a sudden we had three in the last four years. Two of them got us and one barely missed us and so that’s, that’s kind of that wake-up call you get after not having been hit for so long, that we’ve got to be ready. And dunes and beach re-nourishment play a role in protecting the island,” Gillen stated.
The Tybrisa Crossover, which is the beach’s handicap access point is now open, after being closed since Hurricane Dorian. Crews are working on crossovers on 17th and 18th Streets, but both will not be ADA compliant. Gillen said they are making sure they have at least one handicap crossover in each large parking area. The construction is moving from the South end to Center Street and onto the North end of the island. Any crossovers that are not completed by the April 30th deadline, will resume construction in November.
Gillen said the city is committed to working with community members about any issues or concerns they may have. He said so far, most people seem to be “pretty pleased” with the work the crews have completed.