The Coastal Star

Delray Beach: Irma blows beach project off projected timeline

By Jane Smith
    Hurricane Irma’s winds delayed the beach promenade construction in Delray Beach by at least two weeks, according to the project manager. The new expected completion is by Thanksgiving.
    The contractor removed construction equipment from the promenade just after Labor Day to prepare for Irma. Work resumed Sept. 18, said Missie Barletto, project manager.
    About half of the newly planted shade trees and coconut palms toppled, she said. Many were replanted; others that couldn’t be saved will be replaced.
Delray’s beach promenade work is now concentrating on the north end, Barletto said.
    For safety reasons, the city asks residents and visitors to enter the beach at the designated entrances: across from the Sandoway parking lot on the south end, at the main pavilion at Atlantic Avenue and at the Thomas Street entrance on the north end.
The $3.1 million project includes solar-powered smart meters, a tricolored sidewalk, new benches, showers, water fountains, bike and surfboard racks, and trash containers.
    In addition, the city’s parks department purchased mobility mats that sit atop the sand to help wheelchair users access the beach, Barletto said. One set will be placed near the main pavilion at Atlantic Avenue. The mats roll down to the water line, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy the beach. Boca Raton purchased the mobility mats in 2015 for two of its city beaches.
    The city has added a third Downtown Trolley route for those choosing to park in the city garages. For questions about parking during the construction, call Jorge Alarcon at 243-7000, Ext. 4112.

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