ASBPA presented a Best Restored Beach Award to Charleston County Parks & Recreation Commission at its annual Summit Conference in Washington (DC) in February 2016. The award recognized the Folly Beach County Park project which restored Charleston’s most popular public beach. This is the third CSE project recognized by ASBPA, joining our 2008 Isle of Palms (SC) and 2011 Nags Head (NC) nourishment projects.
The Folly Beach project was completed in 2013 and incorporated a 750-foot-long terminal groin. As a result of the project, the park was able to reopen and provide parking for 400 vehicles. Tom O’Rourke, Executive Director of CCPRC, said that the park would have been abandoned without the terminal groin to retain sand. It had been nourished 11 times between 1979 and 2005, but could not retain sand being drawn off by Folly River and Stono Inlet. Incorporating a groin into the project was the preferred alternative with lowest projected maintenance costs.
The project was completed on budget in record time with groin construction by The Industrial Company (TIC–Savannah GA) closely coordinated with a 400,000-cubic-yard nourishment by Marinex Construction (Charleston SC) using a hydraulic dredge. The 2,000-foot-long project area was overfilled so that groin construction could proceed, working in-the-dry, beginning at the seaward end of the structure. Excess sand moved downcoast around and over the structure, leaving a natural profile and beach planform upon completion. Rentz Engineering with CSE designed the steel, sheet-pile groin with concrete cap to match the natural slope of the beach. The resulting low profile has less reveal, preserves vistas, and allows pedestrian access downcoast.