ENGLEWOOD — No news can be good news.
The good news for some Manasota Key residents will be that the barge building the artificial reef offshore was not struck by lightning Monday and no one was injured.
“Couldn’t find anything in the Sun the past two days,” one resident — and subscriber — emailed the Sun Wednesday.
The reason no article a appeared in the Sun was that nothing happened.
“One of their project managers assured me that is most certainly a rumor,” Charlotte County project manager Matt Logan said Wednesday. “No lightning has struck the barge.”
Neither Englewood Fire Control District nor Charlotte County EMS responded to any calls involving the barge and a lightning strike. Englewood fire chief Kevin Easton said the fire district did receive a call of a boater in distress. Firefighters arrived on scene but didn’t find a boater nor anyone else having problems.
Building a reef
The Cayo marine construction barge is building an artificial hard bottom reef that’s required by state permitting as part of the sand nourishment project of Manasota Key.
Since early August, Cayo crews have started constructing two reefs, one 4.2 acres and another just less than 2 acres, north and south of Englewood Beach. Cayo has been loading the barge at a staging area in Tampa Bay and bringing the loads back for placement on the Gulf floor.
About 10% of the project is complete.
“To date, their records and our spot checks indicate 0.41 acres of the reef have been deployed,” the county reported at www.charlottecountyfl.gov under “Manasota Key Beach Renourishment Project,” in the “Project Status” folder.
“The contractor is currently loading the barge in Tampa and is expected to be back onsite tomorrow to continue with the deployment of stone,” Logan said Wednesday.
The county reported how Cayo has been hampered by weather conditions and sustained delays from some mechanical and technical equipment downtime.
The project is scheduled to be completed in February.