HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Heavy equipment has been brought in to Hollywood, Dania and Hallandale Beach for a beach renourishment project.
"We suffered severe beach erosion in the storm a few years ago and this is just a small emergency replenishment project," Hollywood Commissioner Caryl Shuham said.
After Hurricane Irma hit in 2017, stretches of beach in Mizell-Johnson State Park, south of the inlet in Hollywood and portions of Dania and Hallandale Beach were heavily eroded.
"It's just a big difference from what it was before. I have been coming here for years and it is just much smaller," Nina Arbelaez said.
The beach renourishment project is being paid for with federal funds at a cost of $7.9 million.
It should take a month to complete as they bring in 123,200 cubic yards of sand, or about 19 football fields, 3 feet deep.
"I think we all know how important the beaches are to the economy of this area," Broward County Commissioner Beam Furr said. "Not only to the economy, but also to the wildlife. We are trying to make sure we get it done before turtle season."
The manager of the Dania Beach Grill said he is concerned about the project disrupting his business, but it will be worth it.
"They said they are going to be done at a certain hour. They are going to be off on the weekends. So I really don't think it is a big deal," Kellen Barth said. "They say there are going to be, like, 40 employees working on the beach around here. So lunch, if there are 40 guys coming here, I have no problem doing that."
After it's finished, there is a much larger federal project to bring in 1 million cubic yards of sand at a cost of $55 million, which will take years to plan and permit.