$25 million bid derails Surfside sand project

Seal Beach project now ‘in limbo’

The Surfside sand replenishment project has been derailed, according to District One Council Member Joe Kalmick. District One includes Old Town and Surfside.

The only bid was too high, according to Kalmick.

Kalmick announced the bad news during the council comments part of the Monday, Sept. 11, City Council meeting.

“Unfortunately, there’s been a hitch in what we thought was the successful sand replenishment project for Surfside,” Kalmick said.

“It would involve 1.1 million cubic yards of sand being dredged and deposited in Surfside, which of course is a feeder beach for both Huntington Beach and Newport,” Kalmick said.

“There was a tremendous effort made by the cities working together to convince the Army Corps of Engineers to do the project and the last hurdle was that we shaved 18 months off of the schedule that was proposed,” Kalmick said.

“So we were getting ready to have that operation actually start sometime in the beginning of October,” Kalmick said.

The Army Corps put out the project for bids.

They received only one bid, according to Kalmick, from the contractor who had done the project in the past. Kalmick said that instead of the  $15- to $18-million bid that was expected, the bid was $25 million.

That amount fell outside the ability of the Army Corps of Engineers to accept the bid, according to Kalmick.

“So now we’re in this limbo,” Kalmick said.

He said Seal Beach has monies available from the Federal government and other entities and everyone was ready for the project.

“But the dredger is apparently looking to hold up everything because he knows he’s the only bidder,” Kalmick said.

“So we’ll have to see what happens with that regard,” Kalmick said.