High-traffic waterfront area and center of tourism in St. Augustine could soon get makeover

The Florida Department of Transportation will host two public meetings to discuss the proposed Seawall Replacement project from the Bridge of Lions to Charlotte Street in St. Johns County.

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The Florida Department of Transportation created a plan that will cost $38.4 million to completely replace the seawall.

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“We will be lowering the promenade to about 42 inches. That will provide pedestrian safety for the existing from the existing chain-length fence that is on top of the seawall right now. We will eliminate that chain fence, lower the walkway, and we’ll finish it with a nice coquina cover,” Public Information Officer of FDOT, Hampton Ray said

This proposed project will begin at the Bridge of Lions and end at the Castillo De San Marcos in St. Augustine.

Ray said there may be backed-up traffic with construction picking back up for the drainage improvements at the foot of the Bridge of Lions if this seawall project gets approved. So, their goal is to minimize construction as much as possible.

Read: FDOT changing $8.2M intersection in downtown St. Augustine after complaints from neighbors

“I think if we do it in the off-season - construction might be good,” resident Ian McCall said.

Locals weighed in their thoughts about the seawall project and the construction ahead.

Selliey Joyner said, “If it helps with flooding and kids’ safety, that would be awesome.”

Another resident, Sean Hicks, said, “I’m excited. Hopefully, it lowers the amount of flooding that we experience down here.”

Others pointed out the deteriorating condition of the existing sea wall.

“The chains are all rusted, and some of the tops are falling off. I think it would make the city look better,” Dawn Mariotti said.

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But other residents didn’t agree with the proposal.

“I don’t like the idea because I like the old charm look. Just leave it alone,” Don Bernard said.

Ray, spokesperson for FDOT, said this Seawall project will protect the area from extreme storms and maintain the aesthetics of the area.

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A meeting will be held on Jan. 23 and 25 to inform the public of the proposed improvements. The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to express opinions and concerns regarding the project.

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