January 3, 2013The Honorable Georgia Hiller, Chair
Board of County Commissioners
Collier County Government
3299 Tamiami Trail East
Naples, Florida 34112
Dear Chairwoman Hiller:
On behalf of the Naples City Council, I extend our City’s appreciation for the dedicated effort of Collier County to maintain, and when necessary, renourish the City of Naples’ beach. Periodic renourishment has been a fundamental component of the most desired attributes in Collier County, and the condition of the beach is appreciated by permanent residents and visitors alike.
We have closely followed the development of the planned renourishment project for 2013, and we once again look forward to completion of this project which, we believe, is essential for the continuing improvement in our local economy and the quality of life for our citizens.
We have learned that there may be serious consideration for a renourishment project that may haul beach-compatible sand from an inland source. If such a strategy is pursued, thousands of truck trips required to deliver the sand to the beach from the Immokalee area and/or central Florida will cause significant disruptions to the residents of Collier County and the City of Naples.
We respectfully advise that the Naples City Council is adamantly opposed to a truck-haul option (except for emergency “hot spot” renourishment) and encourage the Board of Commissioners to follow the common and historical practice of hydraulically pumping sand to the beaches from off-shore locations.
When considering the details of a trucking alternative, the numbers and potential impacts are staggering. It is estimated that approximately 40,000 truck trips to and from mines will be needed to deliver over 342,000 cubic yards of sand to Naples’ beaches alone. Each truck is expected to weigh over 35 tons when loaded with sand. While State and County arterials may be designed to handle such loading, residential City streets are not. The condition and expected useful life of local streets, including street ends used for beach access, would be greatly diminished by this type of use. At this time, City staff is currently evaluating some evidence of pavement damage along the route taken by trucks for the recent emergency renourishment activity near the Naples Beach Hotel, even with the relatively small quantity of sand that was hauled to this beach location.
Furthermore, the anticipated traffic congestion along the truck route is expected to significantly disrupt the roadway level of service. Residents living along the truck route would be exposed to truck noise, dust and exhaust. Lastly, but most importantly, the operation of large trucks along the beach would impact the safety of beachgoers while shutting down large portions of the beach and beach-end streets for long periods of time when recreational access is most needed for the enjoyment of visitors and residents.
In summary, the Naples City Council supports a renourishment project that continues to follow operational practices that have been used by the County during prior large-scale renourishment activities. The City supports hydraulically pumping sand to the beach from an offshore location. The City does not support a truck haul alternative for a project of this size and scale.
Thank you for considering our opinion, and we look forward to working with you for the completion of a successful beach renourishment project.
John F. Sorey, III Mayor
City of Naples