SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. - Dredging is now underway for the Santa Cruz Harbor as the city continues to try and finish the Twin Lakes Beachfront Improvement Project.
“Dredging basically picks up the sand that is deposited in the harbor mouth and it bypasses it to the other side of the jetty so it can continue down the coastline,” said Port Director Marian Olin.
The process isn’t a new one, in fact, it's been happening every winter since 1964. However, this year there is a problem. Along with the dredging, the County of Santa Cruz is using the improvement project to better road conditions and parking at Twin Lakes Beach. It’s another necessary project, but harbor officials say it’s in the way.
“We have been working closely with the county to try and minimize impacts as much as we can, but to the extent that the project is in the middle of our dredge disposal area,” said Olin.
Residents and officials say both jobs are necessary to complete the beachfront improvement project so operators are learning to work together to make things work.
“This whole area has kind of been whacked out with parking, you know. People just going off on the sand so it's been in the process for a while but they are finally getting to it,” said Emma Thompson, Santa Cruz resident.
“We just have an understanding that we’re going to be working with each other. We are going to be placing our sanding material around their fence because they have taken up about 90 percent of the dredge disposal area, but we understand the impacts are short term and when this project is done it will result in nice improvements for the community,” said Marian Olin.
Businesses in the area have taken a hit with the construction and want the public to know they are still open and parking is still available. Dredging will last through the end of April while the entire improvement project is expected to wrap up in the spring of 2018.