FOLLY BEACH — New sand might be spreading here as soon as Saturday. The long-sought beach renourishment is underway.
After a Friday meeting, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Charleston district, cleared the contractor to begin work. Army Corps officials expected dredging work to start this weekend or early next week, depending on weather.
The $30.7 million project is scheduled to move 1.5 million cubic yards of sand — enough to fill about 450 Olympic-sized pools — to restore the island’s beach as far as Folly Beach County Park, which was renourished in separate project in 2013.
The east end of the island, toward the Morris Island Lighthouse, will be pumped sand first. Crews will work 24 hours per day, seven days per week, moving sand pulled from the bottom through pipes from a dredge 3 to 4 miles offshore.
The project is scheduled to finish by June.
The city sought this round of work for more than a year because of accelerated erosion, but the funding was delayed by politics. The delay chewed up both ends of the 5-mile-long beach and had beachfront owners battling state regulators to protect their properties.