Flagler Beach and Flagler County are closing their beaches to the public starting at 6 a.m. Monday, joining a growing list of coastal communities and counties, in Florida and elsewhere, doing likewise in an increasingly strict response to the coronavirus.
Installation of Mobi-Mats and “Dodge the Dunes” signs at nine beach access points in unincorporated Flagler County are scheduled for completion by the end of the week.
A new law that could potentially restrict public access to beaches prompted an executive order from Gov. Scott that echoes an ordinance Flagler passed last month.
The unexpected infusion of $17.5 million into Flagler’s beach-rebuilding projects revives a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plan that appeared dead in 2017.
For 50 hours a week for the next 48 weeks, trucks will dump nearly 1 million tons of sand along 12 to 15 miles of Flagler County beaches, rebuilding the dunes hurricanes washed away.
Flagler county officials put the blame squarely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when they explain why they walked away from $35 million, and why county and state dollars must step in as replacement.
The city and the state transportation department will block off portions of A1A to parking and build silt mounds to soak up water, though some commissioners are skeptical of silt’s effectiveness.
Heavy rains caused more washouts of the low dunes and rock revetments along State Road A1A this afternoon in what is becoming a recurring problem with almost every heavy rain event.
With federal dollars unlikely to share in the $44 million project, Administrator Craig Coffey wants the county commission to share costs with state transportation and environmental agencies instead, though the plan is rife with uncertainties.
The Corps of Engineers is favoring “renourishing” a 2.5-mile segment of beach from South 7th Street to South 28th Street in Flagler Beach five times through 2060 by rebuilding dunes and dumping 320,000 cubic yards of sand five times over, for $39 million. Adding another segment could add $30 million.