‘The spotlight is A1A:’ Flagler County officials discuss protecting vulnerable beachside road

Sections of A1A were badly damaged by Hurricane Nicole in November

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Days after the start of hurricane season, leaders in Flagler County received an update on efforts to protect State Road A1A from the effects of future storms.

During a meeting on Monday, commissioners heard a presentation about several projects from the Florida Department of Transportation.

“The spotlight is A1A, and that’s the one everyone’s most concerned about,” Director of Transportation Development Jack Adkins said.

According to FDOT, plans are still in motion for a federal beach renourishment project, although a timetable hasn’t been set.

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“The current limits are still being worked out with the county and the Army Corp (of Engineers), but that project is moving forward.” Project Manager Catalina Chacon said.

Another focus from FDOT is on two buried secant walls. One is to be built in Volusia County and the other would stretch into south Flagler County.

“We do have a contractor and a designer on board and right now their focus is securing a permit,” Chacon said. “We anticipate we’ll be able to start mobilizing as early as fall of this year to begin the construction of the walls.”

In November, sections of A1A were badly damaged by Hurricane Nicole.

State workers used 600 truckloads of sand to reopen the road in three days.

The goal of the new projects is to provide permanent protection to vulnerable sections of A1A, but with construction still months away, uncertainty remains for the current hurricane season.

On Monday, transportation leaders said they were able to secure flexibility from the Federal Highway Administration.

A new contract procurement method will allow FDOT to expedite construction quicker and work on multiple parts of a project at the same time.

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About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.