Tribal approval fulfills the cultural resources requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act review process for the $11.5 million project, officially called the Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility project.

Before construction can start, the county must hold a public hearing on the shoreline permit. The earliest available hearing date is in April.

If all else goes as planned, trucks will be dumping sand and gravel on the beach next winter, said county public works special project manager Roland Middleton.