FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — While the two powerful hurricanes that hit Florida last year may be long gone, officials say the damage they left behind along State Road A1A in Flager and Volusia counties remains.
What You Need To Know
- State Road A1A was shut down for several days after Hurricane Nicole in November
- To keep a similar situation from happening, the Florida Department of Transportation has put together a strike team to examine ways to shore up the roadway
- Team members are focusing on a 13-mile stretch of A1A in Flagler and Volusia counties
A1A was shut down for four days after Hurricane Nicole. The Florida Department of Transportation, Flagler County, Volusia County, the City of Flagler Beach, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has formed a strike team to repair and strengthen 13 miles of the roadway so that doesn't happen again.
The strike team has reviewed and evaluated options to fortify "critical areas of vulnerability" along State Road A1A in both Flagler and Volusia counties, including critical areas along South 28th Street to South 9th Street, and from South Central Avenue to about one-half mile north of Highbridge Road — including the portion to Roberta Road in Ormond by the Sea.
Flagler County residents are invited to attend a "listening session" on Jan. 24 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Santa Maria del Mar Catholic Church in Flagler Beach.
“This listening session will allow our residents and businesses to provide input and feedback on the options to repair and strengthen State Road A1A,” said County Administrator Heidi Petito. “This has been a very collaborative process, and we want the public to be included in the process.”
The strike team met with Volusia County residents on Jan. 19, and displayed four different options for fixing A1A: building a buried seawall, dune renourishment, and installing a granite revetment or secant wall.
Team members say they expect to implement a combination of the options to combat future storms.
“DOT has already spent over $13 million on repairs since the damages occurred last fall," FDOT spokesperson Cindi Lane said. "It really isn’t feasible for us to continue doing these sort of emergency or temporary repairs."
Officials say they do not know exactly how much money will be needed to reinforce the 13-mile stretch of highway.
Parts of A1A were already destroyed in 2016 by Hurricane Matthew. Big storms, including strong nor’easters and king tides, have caused significant damage that has required costly repair to keep the corridor open for safe travel.
Hurricanes Ian and Nicole furthered dune erosion and roadway undermining. Repairs from these two storms alone have cost $11.7 million to date, and the costs are climbing.