Upham Beach to get erosion relief
Improvements designed to slow erosion on Upham Beach on the north end of St. Pete Beach are expected to begin early next year. The project, which is estimated to cost about $11 million, will be paid for by Pinellas County and state of Florida funds.
The improvements will involve the installation of four permanent rock structures known as T-groins designed to limit beach erosion. The permanent T-groins will replace five sand-filled temporary T-groins that have been in place since 2006 to stem erosion at the beach, which has been among the highest eroding beaches in the state.
The rock structures are expected to perform better in slowing erosion and holding sand on the beach than the temporary structures. Once the rock structures are installed, the beach is then planned to be nourished with approximately 150,000 cubic yards of sand. Keeping a strong beach helps protect homes and businesses when storms strike and attract visitors who use the beach for recreation.
The estimated cost for construction is $8.8 million, and the cost for nourishment is estimated at $2.2 million. Pinellas County was appropriated $3 million from the state during the 2015 legislative session to share in the cost of the project.
The total project costs will be shared between the state and the county’s bed tax allocation dedicated to beach stabilization and nourishment. The county will seek additional state matching funds next year.
The county is currently finalizing the bid documents and anticipates advertising the project later this calendar year.