SKA receives extension of time to challenge Turtle Beach repair project; County requests one-year extension to complete repair

March 11, 2023 —

Since hearing about the County’s South Siesta Beach (Turtle Beach) Repair project, SKA has been communicating Siesta resident concerns about the project’s timing and design; it appears that the County has been listening.

The County has applied to FEMA for an additional one-year extension to complete the project. Commissioner Nancy Detert traveled to Tallassee to lobby for the extension.

Additionally, SKA has been granted an extension of time to April 3 from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to challenge the project.

According to the County, “The South Siesta Key Beach Repair Project is planned to repair erosion damage at Turtle Beach as a result of Hurricane Hermine in 2016. Approximately 92,000 cu. yds. of beach-compatible sand will be placed on the beach from the public park south. The project will be constructed with sand from approved upland sources, which will be transported by truck.” FEMA currently requires that the project be completed by May 1, 2023 to receive funding. Siesta residents are concerned that the project would be in full swing during the Siesta Key tourist season, and that trucks traversing the south bridge would create a traffic nightmare.

Originally, the project was scheduled to start March 1, 2023, however, contract award was delayed due to limited bids and increased cost from anticipated 4.1 million to approximately 7.6 million dollars. Although the County has received a permit, significant work is required before repair can begin. According to the permit, detailed plans must be submitted and contracts in place to monitor shorebirds and turtles one month prior to start of work. The County must also conduct a pre-construction survey of shorebird nests and turtle tracks. The County now anticipates starting after spring break.

Watch March 2 SKA Meeting Update of Turtle Beach repair project.