Port Everglades project will help sand-starved beaches

Beaches south of the Port Everglades inlet are starving for attention.

For more than 90 years, the man-made inlet has cut off the natural flow of beach sand from north to south, reducing the amount of space beach-goers in Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and Dania Beach have to spread out their towels and soak in some rays.

Much of the sand piles up along shoreline north of the inlet, while some is lost in the inlet channel or pulled out to sea. It never makes it to the other side.

But that should change in the next few years with a sand bypass project that will take excess sand north of the inlet and pump it to beaches to the south.

The project still needs final federal permits dealing primarily with the protection of coastal reefs. The construction will take place during turtle nesting season, Jurado said, because it has to be done in the region’s calmer summer waters. However, work will be halted temporarily when coral is spawning.

The bypass project would create a massive sandtraps underwater on the north side of the inlet that would be emptied every three years and taken south of the inlet.

A hydraulic dredge pipeline would carry the sand across the inlet. Once the sand is moved, officials estimate it will take about three years for the traps to fill again.

The construction would also remove a portion of a rubble spoil shoal north of the inlet, which will reduce the amount of sand piling up on the north shoreline. The change will allow more of the sand to go into the traps, causing them to fill faster.

This story will be updated based on commission action. Check back for details.

lbarszewski@SunSentinel.com, 954-356-4556 or Twitter @lbarszewski

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