New Smyrna Beach, FL – Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach just held its grand opening for the completion of a $5.4 million upgrade project.
As part of the project, the park got a widened two-mile, 8-foot wide elevated boardwalk with several observation platforms overlooking the beach. The new 350-foot long pier opened to the public in May of 2017.
The Smyrna Dunes Boardwalk is over 35 years old and is part of Smyrna Dunes Park, located on 184 acres of land and bordered by water on three sides. The park attracts visitors who enjoy fishing, swimming and sunbathing. It is also one of the few parks in our area where people can bring leashed pets to the river and inlet beaches.
The entire construction renovation project took about a year to complete, and it used money from Volusia County ECHO grants and Ponce de Leon Inlet and Port District funds. Volusia County held its ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly revamped park on Friday morning. Construction services were provided by Wharton-Smith and Nature Bridges.
Volusia County Council Vice-Chair Deborah Denys says the planning process for the project began about four or five years ago. “It desperately needed it,” said Denys. “We were out here daily, literally daily, reinforcing the previous boardwalk, to make sure that it was secure for our citizens.”
The entire park is now 100% ADA compliant, and the area is home to some protected species, such as the gopher tortoise and the beach mouse. The County worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and other agencies to get permits and keep the habitat of these species protected.
“This will become a model for how to do a construction project, keep the park open, keep the public access and then still maintain a healthy habitat for our protected species,” says Volusia County Public Works Coastal Division Director Jessica Winterwerp.
Featured in above photo: Front row (left to right): Matt Snyder, Wharton-Smith Construction; Ron Davoli, Wharton-Smith; Volusia County Council member Deborah Denys; Jake Sachs, NSB City Commission; Ray Bowen, Wharton-Smith
Also pictured: Volusia County Public Works Coastal Division Director Jessica Winterwerp; Nancy Maddox, NSB Parks Director; NSB City Manager Pamela Brangaccio; Brian Green, Nature Bridges; JD James, Nature Bridges; and Shailesh Patel, Dredging & Marine Consultants