The battered section of northern Fort Lauderdale’s shoreline will start to take its former shape this week, when pieces of a 2,600-foot-long sea wall made of corrugated steel are installed.
The repairs, initiated to undo the damage left by Hurricane Sandy in October, will not be complete before spring break or possibly the Fort Lauderdale Air Show in April, Florida Department of Transportation officials said.
“All the work that we are doing should take until April,” said Barbara Kelleher, spokeswoman for the transportation department. “It’s just to make emergency repairs.”
The urgent need erupted after the beach area became so badly eroded that the outer edges of State Road A1A began to crumble from the lack of support underneath.
The old concrete barrier wall, which was built to withstand powerful currents, was no match for the storm in several spots north of Sunrise Boulevard. The resulting damage to the oceanfront road prompted the state to accelerate its repairs.
The estimated cost of the repairs: $8.3 million. They are expected to be complete by early May, Kelleher said.
The new A1A between Northeast 14th Court and Northeast 17th Street will narrow to two lanes from four until the city of Fort Lauderdale initiates a much broader plan for the mostly residential stretch of the busy road.
A series of trails called greenways will be built after the state transportation department completes the essential improvements. The trails will provide a safe and scenic way for bicyclists, joggers and dog walkers to travel along A1A.
The city has asked for feedback from residents on a website called Restore A1A to decide how the restored stretch of A1A should look.
As the larger plan comes together, Broward County will pick up the $1.2 million tab for the thousands of tons of sand to replenish the beach along the road.
“The city and the county are sort of sharing the cost at this point,” said Eric Myers, a county natural resources administrator. “It’s supposed to be a much more robust structure.”
As part of the emergency repairs, 44-foot-long pieces of creased steel will be sunk 42 feet into the ground, forming a barrier that, Kelleher says, will be more stable than the concrete embankment that Sandy ravaged.
The new wall will be capped with wood that residents can sit on when the project is completed. The undamaged portions of the sea wall farther south will stay put.
“There hasn’t been any erosion problem there yet,” Kelleher said.