Jupiter Beach Park is getting wider and the Jupiter Inlet is getting deeper.
That 200-foot-long dredge boat in the inlet off DuBois Park is pulling up about 74,000 cubic yards of sand — about 4,100 dump truck loads — from the bottom of the Inlet. Dredging the Jupiter Inlet during the winter is a regular procedure to give boaters passage to and from the Atlantic Ocean.
When complete next week, the channel that boaters use to travel in and out of the Inlet will be about 20 feet deep, according to Mike Grella, executive director of the Jupiter Inlet District, the taxing authority paying for the project. Cost for the project is about $650,000.
“Regular dredging of the sand trap is done to keep the Inlet open for boats,” said Grella.
The sand is pumped from a man-made sand trap, which captures the sand that flows into the Inlet. The sand trap is about 1,100 feet long and about 200 feet wide.
The sand is pumped through a hydraulic hose to Jupiter Beach Park, south of the Ocean Trail condominium. The sand is spread out to make the beach higher and wider.
The JID maintains the Jupiter Inlet and the Loxahatchee River and the northern portion of Jupiter Beach Park. The JID also operates a live webcam from the top of the Ocean Trail Condominium.
Dredging the Inlet is usually done on an annual basis, said Grella. The job is being done by Pompano Beach-based Cavache Inc.
The price varies depending on the amount of sand that is removed.
Hurricane Sandy’s powerful winds in 2012 brought an extra amount of sand into the Inlet. About 70,000 cubic yards were dredged. The price that year was about $930,000.
Building up beaches in big business in Palm Beach County.
Federal, state, county and local dollars have paid for about $250 million in beach rebuilding projects in the past 15 years on the county’s 46 miles of beaches between Coral Cove Park in Tequesta and South Ocean Inlet Park in Boca Raton, according to country records.