FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Over the last couple of weeks, crashing surf, higher than normal tides and beach erosion have torn down barrier walls and taken out sidewalks along a section of Ft. Lauderdale’s famed beach. During high tides, sand filled waves reach the street and have begun to erode that road.
“The power of the ocean to have ripped these things up and ripped up sidewalks, it’s just, it’s quite something,” said Mary Ellen Smith.
For state and city workers along it is like a never-ending cleaning project. No matter how much sand they sweep up, it just keeps coming back onto State Road A1A north of Sunrise Boulevard.
But things are about to change.
On Tuesday crews were preparing A1A from NE 14th Court to NE 17th Court for new barricades which will turn the four lane road into a two lane road until the city, county and state can come up with a more permanent solution.
“We’re looking at various alternatives of what we could do with A1A in this particular area, whether we keep it at two lanes, whether we make it 3 lanes,” said Barbara Kelleher with the state’s transportation department.
“If we can get two lanes, it’s just a short distance, it’s not like it’s the whole beach, that’s not a problem, I don’t think,” said resident Vivian Sterghos.
Vivian and her friend Judy Altman bike this area all the time. They figure the reduced lanes shouldn’t be that bad, since the busy part of A1A is south of Sunrise Boulevard.
“t will slow people down, it’s crazy on this road, so, it’s the beach, they should go slow, it’s fine,” said Altman.
The Florida Department of Transportation said traffic along A1A between 14th Court and 18th Street will remain just two lanes for at least the next three to four months.
Keith Banks, a natural resources specialist with Broward County, said the county has already requested permits with the state and federal government to begin re-nourishment along this stretch of A1A, but approval could take up to 16 months.