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Okaloosa County: Beach work might be done by mid-April

SHALIMAR — A majority of the Okaloosa County Commission on Tuesday approved the latest version of the county project to dredge sand from the East Pass and deposit it on beaches on Okaloosa Island and Holiday Isle.

The estimated $3.5 million project could start in early March and be completed around mid-April, Deputy County Administrator of Operations Greg Kisela said.

The latest plan calls for about 240,000 cubic yards of sand to be dredged from the clogged East Pass federal navigation channel. As part of an agreement with three Condo Alliance of Okaloosa Island officers who earlier opposed parts of the overall project, the first 80,000 cubic yards of sand will be placed on the Air Force-owned beach on Okaloosa Island just west of the west jetty.

Then, 120,000 cubic yards will be deposited on reach 1, just east of the east jetty, and the remaining 40,000 cubic yards will go farther east to reach 2 on Holiday Isle.

If the county doesn’t get property owners’ permission to lay beach re-nourishment pipes across the “gap” between the two reach areas, or if it’s too costly to put sand on reach 2, half of the sand would be placed just east of the east jetty and half would be deposited just west of the west jetty.

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