HOMESTEAD (CBSMiami) – In October 2012, high tides from Hurricane Sandy heavily damaged the docks Elliot Key, separating them from the seawall.

At the time, National Park Service decided to close the island to visitors and do some serious repairs.

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Now after 18 months the island, once known for its pineapple farming, will reopen with a new and improved look.

Not only have the docks and oceanside boardwalk been given a makeover, the island’s restrooms and shower facilities have been upgraded as well.

The docks were rebuilt using mesh decks to allow easier water flow through their surfaces. New docks were also added to improve access for those anchored offshore or arriving by kayak.

The campground restroom and shower facilities received new plumbing, automatic and low-flush toilets and were repainted.

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All improvements done to the island were designed to minimize potential damage from future storms.

“We are glad to finally be reopening a new-and-improved version of the island,” said the park’s superintendent Brian Carlstrom.

Visitors are encouraged to go the island to participate in activities such as camping, swimming, picnicking, wildlife watching and hiking.

Elliot Key will officially reopen to the public on Thursday, April 17 at 8:00 am.

For more information about Biscayne National Park, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/bisc.

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