25 percent of sand displaced in HHI beach renourishment project - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

25 percent of sand displaced in HHI beach renourishment project

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)

Work to continue the renourishment project on Hilton Head Island beaches began on Wednesday. 

Hurricane Matthew forced crews to stop their work on the current phase on the south end for about two weeks. Crews are trying to get out of the starting gate on South Forest Beach after that setback. With about 25 percent of the sand in the design template displaced because of the storm, the town will now have to reevaluate the project and assess other beach sites outside of the project limits.

The plan now is to replace that volume of sand, which is less than the complete value originally used, and continue to work northward. They are now conducting island-wide surveys to find changes in the beach. They're expecting to see that sand displaced somewhere on the island, just not in the project limits. The project director explained how even losing 25 percent of the sand can mean big bucks for the town. 

"We believe to replace that volume of sand that was loss in the southern half of the project, may equate to $2 million additional cost to the town. We haven't yet done the complete surveys on the northern half of the oceanfront. Similarly, we'll calculate what the volume metric difference there might be, and in the case of these damages or changes, there is some potential for FEMA reimbursement or other programs," said Scott Liggett, Project Director, Town of Hilton Head. 

The project director also stated that in Sea Pines, the dunes receded by about 100 feet. They will now work on protective measures for homeowners there. Right now, they do not have an estimated deadline, but are hoping to complete the project by early winter.

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