Waterfront Pompano Beach Park Closed for at least six months
by Marie Puleo. Pompano Beach News reporter
Exchange Club Park, located along the Intracoastal Waterway in north Pompano Beach, will be closed to the public during a maintenance dredging project that the City of Lighthouse Point is carrying out in some of its residential canals. The dredging project is just getting underway and is anticipated to take about three months to complete.
The park will be used by Lighthouse Point as a temporary deposit site for the material dredged from the canals. The material will be transferred from the dredging barges to the upland property at the park for temporary storage until it dries out. Once the material dries out, it will weigh less and be cheaper to haul away by truck for permanent disposal.
The northern edge of the park property lies along NE 24th Street, which is the boundary between Pompano Beach and Lighthouse Point. The property is owned by the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), and the City of Pompano Beach maintains a lease with FIND to use the land as a public park. The City of Pompano Beach and the City of Lighthouse Point have an interlocal agreement to jointly operate and maintain the park.
FIND, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, maintains the Intracoastal Waterway along the east coast of Florida. Since the 1930s, the primary purpose of the Exchange Club Park property is to serve as a deposit site for dredged materials when FIND performs maintenance dredging of the Intracoastal Waterway.
In order to use the park property as a temporary deposit site for its canal dredging project, Lighthouse Point had to get approval from FIND. FIND also stipulated that Lighthouse Point establish a sublease of the property with Pompano Beach.
At its meeting on Feb. 26, the Pompano Beach City Commission approved an amendment to the interlocal agreement between Pompano Beach and Lighthouse Point. The amendment provides for a six-month sublease of the property to Lighthouse Point (beginning on March 15 with the possibility of being reduced or extended). It also provides that both cities can use the property as a temporary storage site for dredged materials for their canal maintenance projects, upon approval from FIND.
Whichever city uses the property as a temporary storage area for dredged materials will be required to leave the site in pre-activities condition. Soil on the property must be tested before the dredged material is placed there, and again after all the material has been hauled away to make sure there are no contaminants. If contaminants are found, layers of soil will be removed until testing shows there are none remaining, and clean soil will be brought in.
Pompano Beach anticipates using the park property for a canal dredging project that it expects to begin in the next fiscal year. The dredging would take 6-8 months to complete. The City has a prioritized list of about 40 city canals that need to dredged. The canals and the quantity of material to be dredged will be contingent on available funding.
Maintenance dredging of canals is needed to remove the buildup of silt and sediment resulting from stormwater runoff and tidal flow, and to bring canal channels back to their required minimum depth and typical bottom width.