ST. PETE BEACH, Fla. — Upham Beach, on the North end of St. Pete Beach, is about to look a lot different.
Crews just began filling in sand on the beach and hope to be finished with the project on June 5.
Upham Beach is among the fastest eroding beaches in Florida. Pinellas County leaders are hopeful new rock T-Groins will help to better hold the sand in place at the popular beach. The county is adding 150,000 cubic yards of sand, which will add several feet of length to the beach.
This is the first re-nourishment project since the county finished adding the T-Groin rocks at the beach. The project comes with a $3.5 million price tag.
The federal government is covering $2.1 million and Pinellas County and the state are each chipping in $678,000. Most of the project is being paid for with the help of tourist tax dollars, which visitors pay each time they stay in a hotel in Pinellas County.
The extra sand should also protect nearby properties from damage during the upcoming hurricane season and beyond.
The project is being completed by Norfolk Dredging, who headed up similar re-nourishments on Sand Key and Treasure Island last year.
Sand for the project is being dredged from a nearby channel in Blind Pass.
The county has been working to renourish Upham Beach since 1975. It has continued in intervals every 3 years since.
County leaders are hopeful the new rock T-Groins will extend the sand’s longevity to allow them to space out renourishments every 5 years.