Harrison County supervisors on Monday took the first step toward repairing several sections of eroded beach.
“It’s getting to the point where it’s encroaching on our seawall,” said Chuck Loftis, director of the Sand Beach Authority. “It’s been about 10 years since we had a renourishment.”
The project will require about 200,000 cubic yards of sand and cost between $3 million and $3.5 million, according to Dax Alexander of Brown, Mitchell & Alexander Inc., the firm the county voted to hire provided they agree on the fee for engineering on the project. The firm had been planning to ask for about 10 percent of the project cost for engineering, permitting, inspection and surveying.
He said the longest stretch of beach that needs to be replenished is between Cowan and Tegarden roads in Gulfport. The most severely damaged portion is at Coffee Creek near Hewes Avenue in Gulfport, where “we’ve got water lapping on that seawall” threatening to undermine it, Alexander said.
Other trouble spots are at Henderson Avenue in Pass Christian; Pitcher Point in Long Beach; Jeff Davis Avenue, just west of Long Beach Harbor; Broad Avenue in Gulfport; just west of the old Broadwater property in Biloxi; and Chalmers Drive in Biloxi,
It cost the county about $6 million to replenish the entire beach in 2000. After Katrina, the Corps of Engineers paid a similar amount for a replenishment in 2008, Alexander said.
He said he expected it to take about six months to get a permit from the Corps and planned to ask for bids on the project by October. The actual project will take about four months, he said.
The price will include repairing pipes, outfall and other infrastructure that has been damaged or has deteriorated.
Officials said money for the project is available.
“We have almost $400,000 set aside in the beach renourishment fund and we also have, right now, $5.5 million in the sand beach fund,” Comptroller Jennifer Bell said. County Administrator Pamela Ulrich said they still could do a bond issue.