Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Oct. 20 directed the Florida Dept. of Transportation to expedite restoration of a 1.3-mile-long stretch of state Road A1A in Flagler Beach, Fla., that had collapsed as a result of Hurricane Matthew-induced storm surge. The move, which requires the contractor to restore two-way traffic within 45 days of contract, differs from the more extensive—and expensive—reconstruction approach that FDOT officials advocated in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane.
“Getting our communities back to work as quickly and safely as possible is our number-one priority, and we must make A1A operational as soon as we can,” the governor said in a press statement announcing his directive.
FDOT awarded a $3.95-million contract to Halifax Paving Inc. to handle the temporary repairs, which will shift A1A farther to the west, and the construction of temporary southbound lanes. The existing southbound lane that did not sustain extensive damage will be made ready for northbound traffic, the agency says.
Immediately following Matthew, FDOT District Five Secretary Noranne Downs told ENR that the agency planned to advise local officials to install a sheet-pile system to harden the wiped-out stretch of A1A that hugs the Flagler County coast—the same system as was used to harden the nearby 150-ft section of highway that held up during the hurricane. Agency officials estimate system installation at a cost of $35 million, with a construction schedule of up to a year.
Accompanying the governor’s release, a statement from state Transportation Secretary Jim Boxold noted that the stouter fix may still happen. He added, “We will continue to work with our community members and elected officials to develop a more permanent solution for the section of road that was impacted by the storm.”