Dune restoration along A1A in Flagler County nears completion

Hurricane Matthew washed out parts of A1A

By Loren Korn - Reporter

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - It's the final stretch of the dunes restoration project along Highway A1A in Flagler County, where more than 750,000 tons of sand have been dumped on the dunes and plants are sprouting up along the way.
 
Workers at businesses including the Turtle Shack Café can hardly wait for the finished product.
  
"For us, it's definitely slowed down a lot of traffic. We haven't had a lot of parking, we're kind of limited," said J.T. Cerchiara, a server at the cafe.
 
Cerchiara said it's been a long couple of years for the restaurant, working around the construction after losing a chunk of A1A during Hurricane Matthew and then losing their roof in Hurricane Irma.
 
"We had to rebuild. It took us about seven to eight months to get everything rebuilt. It's better than it was now, but it was still really bad on business. We only had four tables that we could sit people at for half a year," he said.
 
Danielle Richards is also a server and longtime resident who saw the effects as well.
 
"I've been here for three hurricane seasons and so I've seen it affect the beach, and the parking and traffic. People are not allowed on the dunes over there. It's just always like a work in progress," Richards said.
 
In the last several months, the county peppered miles of dunes with signs for folks to stay off of them. Officials also added blue mats to help preserve what they have as they wrap up a more than $20 million- investment to restore their beloved coastline.
 
"Parking would be better, the beach can be more accessible. Just better for the town in general," Richards said.

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