Flagler Beach, FL - If you like to ride State Road A1A, get ready for more construction, especially if you go through Flagler County.
The Florida Department of Transportation approves a $22.4 million contract to permanently fix three large chunks of the coastal road starting next year.
FDOT spokesperson Jessica Ottaviano tells us two of those stretches are in Flagler Beach and the third goes from north Flagler Beach to Beverly Beach, all in areas which were temporarily fixed after Hurricane Matthew came through in 2016.
"There were huge repairs that were needed," Ottaviano added. "At the time, we just needed to get that roadway opened."
The first part being rehabbed is a mile-long area from South 22nd Street to South 28th Street. Crews are expected to reinforce the dunes on the east side of A1A and add vegetation to keep the sand in place.
The hope is to prevent further erosion along that six-block stretch which might cause the road to collapse should another major storm strike and bring heavy storm surge from the Atlantic Ocean, as it did when Matthew came through two years ago.
"Our plan, from that point until now, has been to make a design and a repair that would be for more longer-term," Ottaviano stated.
The second area is between South 9th Street to South 22nd Street, roughly a mile and a half long. FDOT plans to rebuild the two-lane road by adding a landscaped median separating the travel lanes.
"A system of French drains and other drainage improvements will be constructed to control water runoff and reduce undermining of the roadway," Ottaviano said.
The final stretch is just over a mile long, stretching from North 18th Street in Flagler Beach to Osprey Drive in Beverly Beach, where a seawall will be built behind the dunes.
"It'll be more concealed and covered with sand and vegetation so that it still appears like you're still on this pretty coast," Ottaviano noted.
Superior Construction Company of Jacksonville has been selected for the project. Construction could begin as soon as the first full week of January 2019 but might be delayed until February at the contractor's discretion. Once it does begin, FDOT expects it to take around a year to complete.
Some road closures are possible during the construction, per Ottaviano.
"Prior to construction starting, the department will distribute project information to the City of Flagler Beach, Flagler County and to residents and businesses along S.R. A1A within the project limits," Ottaviano said.
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