By Jane Smith
A small crowd gathered on a windy day in late January to celebrate the end of beach promenade work.
“I never thought it would happen,” said Bob Victorin, Beach Property Owners Association president. He likes the swirling sidewalks, which are wider and have a “natural look that fits the beachfront.”
The association started to talk about the project about 10 years ago, said Andy Katz, a trustee.
Rob Barron, the city’s dune management consultant, said, “I like that it’s done.” The tricolored sidewalk, he said, “flows with the existing dune.”
The street-side wave is tan concrete; the middle wave has a chocolate brown color. In some places, a third wave near the beach and under the shower fixtures has shells embedded in tan concrete to prevent slipping.
The $3.1 million promenade project includes sidewalks up to 12 feet wide. The promenade features coordinating beach amenities, including shower poles, benches and both surfboard and bike racks. The coordinating water fountains have refillable water spouts and there are dog-waste stations and trash/recycling containers. Shade trees and coconut palms were planted near the dunes.
Mobi-Mats, purchased by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, were rolled out on the east side of the Atlantic Avenue pavilion. The mats sit on top of the sand, allowing wheelchair users to roll themselves down to the ocean.
EDSA Inc. of Fort Lauderdale did the design work and supervised the contractor, MBR Construction of Fort Lauderdale. EDSA supplied doughnut holes and cookies, while MBR provided coffee and drinks during the morning opening.
Mayor Cary Glickstein thanked his fellow commissioners, the city manager and Public Works staff for overseeing the project and city residents who participated in the charrettes to help design the promenade.
“It was a labor of love,” he said, particularly for the BPOA members who were patient and persistent. They also helped to raise money for the two gazebos, he said.
The group partnered with the city’s Green Implementation Advancement Board to give away refillable water bottles at the event.
Glickstein said the city’s goal was to keep the renovation understated.
“When residents returned for the winter, they would look at the promenade, notice a change but not be able to say what it was,” he said. “This is about preserving our crown jewel.”
The city already has EDSA designing the second phase, which includes lighting along A1A and better intersections at Atlantic Avenue and Casuarina Road. “At the beach, you are never done,” Glickstein said.