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New Lauderdale A1A Seawall Stems Weekends Tides, Surf

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The fix to a section of State Road A1A damaged late last year by higher than normal tides appears to be working. (Source: Florida Department Of Transportation)

The fix to a section of State Road A1A damaged late last year by higher than normal tides appears to be working. (Source: Florida Department Of Transportation)

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FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The fix to a section of State Road A1A damaged late last year by higher than normal tides appears to be doing its job.

Over the weekend, heavy surf from a weather system moving off toward the East pounded Florida’s beaches. Combined with periods of high tides, some areas reported rip currents and beach in erosion.

“On Saturday we had about five to seven foot higher than normal seas,” said Barbara Kelleher from the Florida Department of Transportation.  “On Sunday they were about seven to ten foot higher than normal.”

In Ft. Lauderdale, state department of transportation workers kept a close eye on A1A from NE 14th Court to NE 18th Street where new vertical steel sheets were installed to act as a seawall along the road. This section of A1A, just north of Sunrise Boulevard, was badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy swells and seasonal high tides.

Kelleher said the surf got up to the seawall. At high tides, there was some overflow on the South end of the project where the sheets had been pushed in to their final height. The good news was that there was no road flooding or beach erosion.

“I think all in all we came out pretty well,” said Kelleher, “because once the water subsided, we really didn’t have an significant erosion like we had in October and November.”

Gaen Hooley lives nearby.  She, along with many of us, have been paying close attention to what’s been happening here since a passing Hurricane Sandy took out part of the road and sidewalk last fall.   She’s happy it didn’t’ get worse.

“That’s progress,” Hooley said.  “That’s what it’s designed to do, that’s why there’s post pumping in down into the ground.”

The Babalis family is here on their annual vacation from Canada.  They’re not used to seeing the water this high, or spilling over.

“I can’t imagine the water actually going over that wall, ” said Viki Babalis. “That would actually shock me to see.”

The metal barrier should be in by late April. After that, the Department of Transportation, the City of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County will determine how to finish the product.

They could decide to build a higher wall to keep water from spilling over.

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