Hilton Head preps for million dollar beach renourishment project - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Hilton Head preps for million dollar beach renourishment project

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

The town of Hilton Head is getting ready for a $20 million beach makeover project.

Some of the pipeline for the renourishment has already made its way to parts of the island’s beaches. Officials say more than 50,000 feet of pipes will be used to pump millions of cubic yards of sand onto the shoreline.  

If you’re on the island, you’ll probably see lots of equipment and worker. But officials say don’t let the project interrupt your vacation plans.

“The beaches are open here Memorial Day and frankly, the project doesn’t intend to close the beach here on the island. We do have a relatively small section that will be worked at any one time. It’s about a thousand feet in length,” said Hilton Head Director of Public Projects Scott Liggett.

Mitchelville Beach Park is the part of the beach they will be closing first, but it’s not going to start until after Memorial Day. Officials say while you’re here between now and November, expect to see a lot of equipment and crews.

Hilton Head’s beaches have eroded significantly over the past few years, and even the visitors can tell.

“We are staying near Coligny Beach. We didn’t really notice it there, but it’s a much shallower slant of beach, but when we went around the corner here where the cove is, we noticed that there wasn’t a whole lot of beach this time, and we were out riding on this in September. It looks different now,” said Buffkin Fairchild, tourist.

Erosion has wiped away hundreds of yards of shore – but crews are already working to fix it – and if you haven’t seen them or the 50,000 feet of pipeline already, you will soon.

“We’ll have surveying crews both on land and in the water completing the pre-project surveys, and we also have crews that will be assembling the submerged pipeline, and as the project gets started it will be sunk on the bottom of the ocean,” said Liggett.

In just a few weeks, a contractor will begin to pump millions of cubic yards of sand onto the shore. But officials say they’ll start in the less populated areas to minimize their impact on your vacation.

“The Mitchellville Park is where we will start the project and advance from there along the Port Royal shoreline and southward around the Port Royal plantation,” said Liggett.

Beach lovers say even if the project gets in their way, they’ll support anything that makes the island better.

“You bet! If you make that beach bigger, that’s great. There’s more riding space,” said Fairchild.

“That won’t cause that much problem, I don’t think. It’s tourists anyways in the summer. They’ll just deal with that sort of thing,” said Ray Rippman, Hilton Head resident.

Officials will start to close parts of the beach in the beginning of June. For a full timeline of the project, please click here.

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