Digging deep: Phase one of stabilization project under way along Norriego Point

Matt Algarin / The Destin Log
Joe Bodi, from the city of Destin, looks on as crews from H.G. Harders and Sons, Inc. work along Norriego Point Thursday.

Work on phase one of the long-anticipated Norriego Point stabilization project began in earnest this week.

“The contractor began removing the temporary sheet piling in preparation of placing the dredged material from the Coast Guard Channel and from Old Pass Lagoon Channel,” City Engineer David Campbell told The Log.

The city of Destin is “piggybacking” with the Coast Guard on their dredge project, which will see about 5,000 cubic yards of sand placed in the northern-most embayment along the point at the sight of the breached T-groin. The mouth of the harbor and navigation channel will also be cleared out to its fully permitted depth of 12 feet.

Campbell said the dredge is currently in Bay County after a damaged crane forced crews to make repairs before arriving in Destin, which is expected to happen tonight. The dredge company, Inland Dredging Company LLC, should begin setting up their equipment Sunday.

Dredging of the Coast Guard Channel is expected to begin early-to-mid next week and sand will be placed on Norriego Point.

The city has received $10.2 million in funding for the complete stabilization of the point, which will include sheet pile walls, a rock wall and other recreational features.

There is still a long way to go in the final stabilization efforts, but seeing work along the point is a welcomed sight.

“This is the first phase of the overall project and is beneficial to the city in that we get our navigational channels clear of sand shoaling just in time for the 100 days of summer,” Campbell said, “allowing our boat traffic safe, unobstructed passage, and we shore up the point to prevent further erosion while preparing the point for possible storm activity.”