PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Dredging barges started pumping sand along Panama City Beach’s shoreline last week, starting at Pinnacle Port, heading east to Sunnyside.
According to Bay County Commissioner Philip “Griff” Griffitts, this $28.5 million beach rebuild will be one of the largest in Bay County’s history.
“It’ll be all winter long and it’ll be a lot of action going on on that beach with a lot of sand, 2-million cubic yards. It’s the third-largest project we’ve ever done,” Griffitts said. “The original project was around 10-million and then after Hurricane Ivan, it was around 3.5 and this is 2-million cubic yards of sand so it’s a very large project.”
On Tuesday, Bay County Commissioners voted to approve the recommendation to include St. Andrews State Park in the renourishment project.
All they need is a final permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
“We are hopeful with the corps of engineers and some federal assistance we will be able to have that project included very quickly,” Griffitts said.
Since most of the erosion took place during tropical storms or hurricanes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying for the project.
Workers are starting on the west end of the beach and making their way east, bypassing the section of the beach from the city pier to ocean towers.
Despite the size of the project, it should not be an issue for visitors, residents, or businesses.
“Even in the winter months, they are very accommodating to the folks that are on the beach,” Griffitts said. “They have paths and they work around the business owners. It’s a very very fluid project and a lot of people will be interested to see how it’s completed.”
Barring any weather complications, the project will be complete by Spring 2022.