- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FLAGLER BEACH, Fla. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers says it will be expensive to fix beach erosion problems along Flagler County’s shoreline.

A new report estimates it will cost $43.4 million over 50 years to create a 10-foot seaward extension of existing dune and berm. Army Corps project manager Jason Harrah told the Daytona Beach News-Journal (http://bit.ly/1eJpjLO) the plan faces hurdles as it heads to Congress for reviews.

Officials say appropriation is slated for 2016, with construction beginning in 2017 at the earliest.

The plan calls for construction in phases. The initial construction would be followed by four “periodic renourishments” over 50 years.

Officials say dune erosion has been a problem in the area for decades. Department of Transportation officials estimate $1.25 million a year was spent between 2004, when several hurricanes hit, and 2007, when nor’easters threatened the roadway, for coquina boulders, large rocks and sand to shore up the eastern side of State Road A1A.

“The roadway never fell off into the ocean, but at times storms ate away at the dunes right to the roadway,” Bob Pickering, a longtime emergency management technician with Flagler County Emergency Services, told the News-Herald. “We’d close the road, because you really don’t need people driving on it when it is like that.”

Not everyone is thrilled with the Corps‘ plan. But Flagler Beach City Commissioner Kim Carney is resigned to the fact that it will eventually happen.

“We have $3.5 million invested in it,” Carney said. “It’s continuing. That’s a fact of life.”

The newspaper reported that the federal government will pay 65 percent of the first phase’s $14 million cost and 50 percent after that for the “rebuild,” which will be between $8 and $9 million every 11 years or so over a 50-year period. The remainder would be covered by “nonfederal” funding sources that will be divvied up between county and state agencies.

The study began in 2004, after a series of hurricanes that started with Hurricane Charley, hit the coast.

Flagler County engineer Faith Alkhatib says design work could begin later this summer if the county and potential partners are able to “front fund” the work.

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Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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